Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is abortion legal?
A: Yes. Abortion is legal in Canada and in the United States. However, access to abortion services in Canada varies from region to region. See section on Provision of Care below for a regional breakdown.
Q: Can my parents force me to have an abortion?
A: No. A person who is mature enough to make medical decisions cannot be forced to have any procedure.
Q: Do I need permission from my parents, husband or partner to have an abortion? Will the clinic contact anyone else?
A: No. You may decide to discuss your decision with others, but the clinic will not contact anyone without your permission.
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Provision of Care
Q: How do I find an abortion clinic?
A: There are several ways to find a clinic. You can call the National Abortion Federation Hotline at 1-800-772-9100, search your local phone book, search online or ask a sympathetic physician for a referral. Please note that in Canada, there are no abortion facilities on Prince Edward Island. Some provinces have only hospital access and no independent clinics and access in rural and northern areas is limited.
Q: Is there a point at which I can no longer have an abortion?
A: Yes, this will depend on where you live and your individual medical circumstances. In Ontario, providers are available to provide service up to 24 weeks from your last menstrual period, after which, referrals can be made to the United States, where service can sometimes be provided at later gestational ages. Also, abortions with medications only (no surgery) are available for people less than 49 days, or 7 weeks, pregnant.
Q: Does abortion hurt?
A: There is some discomfort associated with both medication and surgical abortion as with most medical procedures. Most describe it as bad menstrual cramps.
Q: Which is better - surgical or medication abortions?
A: Surgical and medication abortions are both safe and effective methods to end a pregnancy. Neither is better than the other. The process involved is different. Some people will prefer one over the other and some might have medical conditions that would result in their providers recommending one over the other.
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Q: How much does an abortion cost?
A: Under the Canada Health Act, a you should not have to pay for abortion services. However, access is variable across the country and clients are charged fees at some facilities. In Ontario, a valid Ontario Health Insurance Plan card (OHIP) will cover 100% of the cost of service in hospitals or in a clinic licensed as an Independent Health Facility. Other clinics charge a fee.
University Health Insurance Plans and the Interim Federal Health program will also cover the full cost directly. If you have other provincial health insurance, you will be required to pay for your services out of pocket. You can seek reimbursement from your home province.
If have no health insurance, you will be required to pay for your services out of pocket. At Choice in Health Clinic, surgical abortions cost $400.00. At this point, medication abortions are only available for clients with OHIP.
Q: What if I can't afford the cost?
A: Don't worry! There are a number of patient-assistance funds available to help you cover the costs of your procedure. At Choice in Health Clinic, we are committed to providing access to abortion, including to those unable to pay for services. Please call us if you have any concerns about your ability to pay, and we will discuss some of the options available with you.
Q: I am a member of the Canadian Armed Services. Will I have to pay for my procedure?
A: No. Members of the Canadian Armed Services have National Defence cards, which allow them to access health services in their province of residence. Choice in Health Clinic is an authorized abortion provider for members of the Canadian Armed Services.