In Quebec, abortion is free and legal throughout pregnancy. But there are restrictions on access to abortion later in pregnancy.
Abortion is legal throughout pregnancy
When the Supreme Court of Canada legalized abortions in the 1980s, it never set a time limit on when people could get them. Today, abortions are legal throughout pregnancy.
You don’t need your sexual partner’s permission to get an abortion. And young people 14 years old and over don’t need their parents’ permission either.
But, keep in mind, access to abortion may become more difficult if you are far along in your pregnancy.
Widespread access in the first trimester
In Quebec, most people get abortions in the first trimester (to the end of 12 weeks of pregnancy).
During this period, you can get an abortion through specialized clinics, CLSCs and hospitals. Some family doctors also oversee medical abortions (sometimes called the “abortion pill”) early in pregnancy.
Medical abortion is not the same thing as an emergency contraceptive, like the “morning after pill”. Emergency contraceptives are also legal in Quebec and available through pharmacies.
Possible restrictions later on in pregnancy
You can have an abortion after the first trimester, since there’s no time limit.
But some facilities and doctors may refuse to perform abortions if you are far along in your pregnancy. Even so, the doctor must help and guide you towards other resources.
You can contact the Centre des rendez-vous en avortement de Montréal (Montreal abortion appointment centre) or the resources below to find out what your options are.
Abortion is free for most people
Quebec’s public health care system covers surgical and medical abortions.
New to Quebec? You might still be covered.
- People with immigration documents are covered during the 3-month waiting period to become eligible for health care.
- If you are a refugee, you may also be covered through the Interim Federal Health Program.
- If you are from out of province, you could be reimbursed by your home province. Learn more by contacting the health insurance plan in your province.
If you don’t have access to public health care in Quebec, you will probably have to pay for an abortion on your own or have private insurance cover it.
Contact the organizations below for information on paying for abortions, including travel expenses for people living in rural areas.
Safe Access Zones
In 2016, Quebec passed a law creating “safe access zones” around abortion providers. Protests and sidewalk interference are not allowed within 50 metres of health care facilities that perform abortions.