Need an Abortion? Not Sure?
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
Where can I get more information or counselling about abortion and pregnancy?
- 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 Parenthood):
- any of the abortion clinics listed below
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 doctors.
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".)
Clinics 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
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 special circumstances.
2nd 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 fetal abnormality.
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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