Need an Abortion? Not
Here's where to go in BC...
For information about abortion services in other parts of
Canada, please go to www.canadiansforchoice.ca.
On the map of Canada on the homepage, click on your province or
can I get more information or counselling about abortion and
- Pregnancy Options Line: 604-875-3163
outside Lower Mainland: 1-888-875-3163
- Facts of Life Line: 604-731-7803
outside Lower Mainland: 1-800-739-7367
- Options for Sexual Health Clinics (formerly Planned
- any of the abortion clinics listed
Beware: There are some groups that offer pregnancy
counselling, but who are against abortion. They do not provide
accurate information on abortion, and may even try and talk you
out of it. Such groups include Birthright
and Crisis Pregnancy Centre.
What if I've just had unprotected intercourse?
Emergency Contraception (sometimes called the Morning After
Pill) can be taken up to 72 hours after unprotected intercourse.
It works by preventing or delaying ovulation.
In BC, you can now get Emergency Contraception across the
counter at pharmacies. About 1000 pharmacists in all areas of BC
are certified to prescribe it directly and immediately, without
a doctor's intervention. You can also get emergency
contraception from hospital emergency departments, Planned
Parenthood clinics, some medical clinics, and sympathetic
For more information on Emergency Contraception, call
1-888-NOT-2-LATE (1-888-668-2528). Or go to the website http://ec.princeton.edu/
This site also has a search feature that will list pharmacies
and clinics that supply EC in your area (click on "Getting EC in
the US and Canada".)
that provide abortions
There are six clinics in BC that provide abortions, four in the
Lower Mainland, one in Victoria, and one in Kelowna. Each of
them offer pre- and post-abortion counselling, and can help you
decide the best decision for you. You don't need a doctor's
referral; just call to make an appointment. You will probably be
required to have an ultrasound, which the clinic can either do
for you, or arrange for you. Waiting time for a clinic abortion
may vary between one and three weeks.
Note: Some clinics can perform surgical abortions as early as
5-6 weeks gestation.
Hospitals in BC that Perform Abortions
If you can't go to one of the clinics listed
above, you must obtain a referral to a doctor who performs
abortions in a local hospital. If your own doctor won't refer
you, or if you don't want to go to your family doctor, call the
Pregnancy Options line at 1-888-875-3163 to obtain a referral or
more information (604-875-3163 in the Lower Mainland).
There are over 30 hospitals in BC that are
specially designated (required)
by the provincial government to perform abortions, although
other hospitals often perform them, too. To find a hospital in
your area that performs abortions, please call the Pregnancy
Options line at 1-888-875-3163
(604-875-3163 in the Lower Mainland).
Abortions are free in BC if you have BC medical
coverage. (There may also be a charge for medications not
covered by MSP.) As long as you are a Canadian citizen or landed
immigrant, and have lived in BC for the
last three months, you can get medical coverage. It's a
lot cheaper than an abortion.
If you are covered under someone else's medical plan and don't
want them to find out, don't worry—information on abortions is
kept strictly confidential by the Ministry of Health. Hospitals
and clinics are also obligated to keep secret the names of
patients who have abortions.
If you've lived in BC for less than three months (or you're not
a resident), the cost for an early abortion is about $450 to
$600. Some of that may be reimbursable once you qualify for BC's
medical plan. Also, some but not all provinces will reimburse
former residents who have abortions in BC, but who have lived in
BC for less than three months.
If you can't afford to pay up front, talk to one of the
clinics, or contact the Pregnancy Options Line.
Clinics may be able to help with funding or payment plans in
and 3rd Trimester Abortions
Most abortions are done in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy—the
first trimester. A few doctors in BC do abortions on request up
to about 20 or 22 weeks, as well as a few clinics in Ontario,
Quebec, and Washington State. Abortions are also available after
22 weeks in the rare event that your life or health becomes
seriously threatened by the pregnancy, or in cases of serious
Contact the Pregnancy Options Line for
more information on 2nd and 3rd trimester abortions, and for
assistance in obtaining such abortions out-of-province, as well
as help or advice in covering costs.
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