Canada is Also Not an Abortion Utopia, Unfortunately

by Michelle Siobhan Reid

While theoretically there are no legal restrictions on when in the pregnancy one can have an abortion, each province more or less has a limit because the hospitals and clinics set them. Some facts:

• If you live in the Territories, and you need an abortion after 12 weeks, enjoy flying literally thousands of kilometres to obtain it!

• If you are in the Atlantic provinces, no abortions after 15 weeks for you!

• If you live in PEI, enjoy taking a ferry to another province and paying out of pocket and then waiting to be reimbursed despite our “universal” health insurance! Despite the fact that PEI has seven hospitals, none of them will provide an abortion.

• If you are in New Brunswick, two doctors have to independently approve your abortion — this harkens back to the Therapeutic Abortion Committees, which were deemed unconstitutional 25 years ago but persist in NB anyway. You can avoid the two doctor committee and go to a private abortion clinic in NB, but then you have to pay out of pocket (~$600) and you will not be reimbursed.

• Various provinces will not provide medical abortions. No reason given. Too bad, ladies!

• Also one researcher found that calling various hospitals asking about abortion will lead one to be hung up on, insulted, or directed to a “crisis pregnancy centre.”

Canada: We are also gross and woman-hating but at least I guess our annual check-ups are free and our money has fun colours to look at as you hand it over for your abortion.

Michelle Siobhan Reid lives in Canada.

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