Know the Facts: Abortion in Canada

Abortion in Canada

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Is Abortion Legal in Canada?

  • Abortions are legal in Canada throughout pregnancy.
  • Availability differs from state to state.
  • The abortion pill can be used until the 10th week of pregnancy (LMP).

This page addresses abortion questions such as:

⚖️ Wondering whether to get an abortion? Take the Abortion Test.

Can You Get an Abortion in Canada?

While abortion is legal in Canada throughout pregnancy, the Canadian government has set specific parameters under which abortions may be performed:

1. Specialized Training
Abortions may only be performed or prescribed by medical doctors.

2. Location
In Canada, surgical abortions can be obtained without a doctor's referral at an abortion clinic or with a doctor's referral at a hospital.
Telehealth abortions are lawful in Canada. The abortion pill, known under the brand name Mifegymiso, can be obtained at specific pharmacies by prescription only.
ℹ️ For more information, go to Abortion Near Me.

3. Confidentiality
Most abortions can stay confidential. Legal exceptions in Canada include the requirement of parental consent for minors under 14.
ℹ️ For more information, go to Abortion Under 18: Do I Have to Tell My Parents?

4. Informed Consent
A pre-abortion consultation appointment is required in Canada to ensure informed consent. Advice during this mandated informational meeting may include details about the abortion procedure, pain management, fetal development, abortion alternatives, and abortion pill reversal.
Although two separate appointments are usually required, there is no mandated waiting period between the consultation and the abortion appointment.
The informed consent regulation has been implemented to protect women from forced abortions. Abortion coercion is a criminal offense in Canada. Forcing someone to have an abortion is punishable by law: Bill C-510: Act to Prevent Coercion of Pregnant Women to Abort.
ℹ️ For more information, go to Abortion Coercion.

5. Medical Requirements
A pre-abortion ultrasound is not required by law in Canada but may be deemed necessary by the attending physician. The ultrasound reveals the gestational age, which is necessary for discerning which abortion method may be used. It would also show an ectopic pregnancy, thereby preventing severe risks.
ℹ️ For more information, go to Is Abortion Legal?

How Late Can You Get an Abortion in Canada?

While abortion is legal in Canada throughout pregnancy, abortions after the first trimester may not be widely available. Many abortion clinics only offer the abortion pill and vacuum extractions, which are exclusively used in the first trimester. No abortion provider performs abortions past 24 weeks in Canada.

  • The abortion pill "Myfegymiso" can be prescribed until the 10th week of pregnancy LMP (counting from the first day of your last menstrual period). This time-window is federally mandated for all Canadian states because the risk of complications increases exponentially if used beyond this point.
  • Vacuum aspiration is the primary surgical abortion method used until the 16th week of pregnancy.
  • 98% of abortions after 16 weeks gestation are performed by dilation and evacuation (D&E). At this point, the fetus has become too large to be suctioned out and would need to be extracted by forceps.

Refer to the chart below to discern time limits for abortion availability in your region:


Available Until


20 Weeks LMP

British Columbia

24w + 6d LMP


16 Weeks LMP

New Brunswick

16 Weeks LMP

Newfoundland & Labrador

16 Weeks LMP

Northwest Territories

20 Weeks LMP

Nova Scotia

16 Weeks LMP


19w + 6d LMP


23w + 6d LMP

Prince Edward Island

9 Weeks LMP


24 Weeks LMP


18w + 6d LMP


12w + 6d LMP

📅 Unsure how far along you are? Use our Pregnancy Tracker to find out! 

For more information, go to:

Is Abortion Illegal in Canada?

While abortion beyond the legal parameters is decriminalized in Canada, abortion coercion is punishable with a prison sentence of up to five years, according to §264.2.

Self-inducing an abortion without the aid of a medical provider is illegal in Canada. This law was established with the health of women in mind. Most homemade abortion methods carry higher risks, making them unsafe. Additionally, the large percentage of failed home abortions may lead to malformations and preterm deliveries. The safety of the mother is of the highest priority, coupled with a concern for fetal health.

ℹ️ For more information, go to:

I Need an Abortion in Canada — Now What?

Hopefully, our page addressed some of your practical questions about abortion in Canada. Perhaps your concerns go beyond the need for information. You may have recently found out you are pregnant, bringing your heart to a standstill while your mind races on.

We are here for you as you navigate your next steps! If you are deliberating whether to have an abortion, you are invited to participate in our weeklong  Decision Coaching sessions. This includes a free daily email for seven days, with thought-provoking ideas and stories of how other pregnant women have dealt with this challenging situation.

👉 Click here for more information and prompts for signing up!

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