Abortion in Canada

Abortion in Canada , referred to induced abortion or voluntary termination of pregnancy , is legal and is not limited by law, is practiced at the request of the woman and without limit of gestation, is practiced in public hospitals and is free. Some provincial and territorial regulations regulate their procedures and accessibility conditions. Canada is one of the few nations that has no legal restrictions on the practice of induced abortion . Since 1988 there are no laws limiting abortion in Canada. 1 2 3 4

No laws limiting abortion since 1988

1968 – Penal Code Reform Law

The practice of abortion was illegal in Canada until the adoption of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1968-69 ( Penal Code Reform Law ) that decriminalized homosexuality , contraceptive methods and induced abortion , among other modifications. 5

Reforming induced abortion required a report from a doctors’ committee stating the desirability of terminating the pregnancy . Although in practice, some hospitals authorized almost all abortions, while others allowed very few this report will be the fundamental cause of the 1988 ruling that declared unconstitutional the reform on abortion in 1968. 5 1

1988 – Unconstitutionality of the reform of 1968

In 1988, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in Case R. v. Morgentaler ( Henry Morgentaler ) that the existing legislation was unconstitutional by annulling the 1969 law reform. Since then, Canada has had no legislation on the subject. 5

The Supreme Court of Canada overturned the 1968 law by finding that it violated Section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms by violating women’s right to privacy, liberty and personal security. The then President of the Supreme Court of Canada Brian Dickson wrote: Compelling a woman, by threatening to bring a fetus to term unless she meets certain criteria related to her own priorities and aspirations, is an interference with the body Of a woman and therefore a violation of the security of the person . 5

As of the 1988 ruling, abortion is considered in Canada as any other medical procedure and is governed by both provincial norms and sanitary provisions of any medical procedure. 5 1

1989 – Judgment on the nullity of the paternal veto to the abortion

In 1989, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that a father has no legal right to veto a woman’s decision to have an abortion. The sentence came after Chantal Daigle’s boyfriend got a court order that prevented her from having an abortion. Before this provisional sentence Chantal Daigle traveled secretly to the United States to have an induced abortion practiced . 5 1

Free hospital care

In 1995, approved provincial and federal regulations forced Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to allow abortion in private clinics. Despite this, access to abortion outside hospitals remains incompatible throughout the country. Some provinces and territories cover the cost of scheduled abortions at out-of-hospital clinics. Those who do not allow this guarantee the practice of abortion in public hospitals free of charge. 5 1

Number of abortions

In 2005, they performed 97,254 abortions. 6 The number of abortions has been declining since 1998. 6 7


  1. ↑ Jump to:a b c d e CBC news abortion rights timeline – Abortion rights: significant moments in Canadian history, 2009
  2. Back to top↑ Canada, Information and links specific to Canada – National Abortion Federation
  3. Back to top↑ Abortion Federation, Canada services -naf-
  4. Back to top↑ Legal abortion in Canada -naf-
  5. ↑ Jump to:a b c d e f g Legal abortion in Canada – naf
  6. ↑ Jump to:a b «Statcan.gc.ca» (PDF) . Statistics Canada .
  7. Back to top↑ Induced Abortion Statistics , Table 3-1, Statistics Canada, 2003