Abortion in Quebec
There are two types of abortion available in Quebec: an in-clinic abortion (also known as a surgical abortion) and the abortion pill (also known as a medication abortion). To learn more about each option, go here.
Both options are 100% covered by the provincial health care plan, making them free for residents of Quebec.
Each administrative region of the province has at least one point of service for in-clinic abortions. For most of these regions, there is at least one provider that offers both the in-clinic and the abortion pill options.
Outside of Quebec, some doctors and nurse practicioners (who are not specifically abortion providers) also prescribe the abortion pill as part of their regular practice. Due to an additional training requirement in Quebec, the abortion pill is not usually available from a family doctor or nurse practitioner.
To search for an abortion provider in your area based on which abortion option you prefer, visit choiceconnect.ca
Abortion services are available in Quebec – including during COVID-19
In Quebec, abortions are available at:
- Some local health centres (CLSC)
- Some hospitals
- Some community centres such as women’s health centres
- Private abortion clinics, primarily in the Montreal area
Quebec has the most abortion providers in the country — 49 in total. This means that most people in Quebec live near an abortion provider; however, people living in some remote areas may still need to travel significant distances. If you need help navigating travel for your abortion, call the Action Canada Access Line at 1-888-642-2725.
Abortion is an essential service, and abortion clinics continue to operate during COVID-19. Whether you are getting an in-clinic abortion or using the abortion pill, you will likely need one or more visits to a clinic. When you call to make an appointment, they will inform you of their COVID-19 protocols.
If you are using the abortion pill, you might be able to get the medication from the clinic you visit or you might take the prescription to a pharmacy. If your pharmacy doesn’t have the abortion pill in stock, you can ask them to order it in. This usually takes about two days.
Abortions are free for Quebec residents
Both the abortion pill and in-clinic abortions are covered by Quebec’s provincial health insurance, RAMQ. If you have a Quebec health card or are seeking asylum in Quebec, there are no fees for either abortion option. This includes filling your prescription if you are using the abortion pill.
If you are seeking abortion care, but your health insurance has expired, you are an international student, or visiting Quebec, you may be required to pay. Fees vary and are determined by the individual clinic. Financial support is sometimes available.
Otherwise, abortion care in Quebec will not cost you anything. Clinics are actually not allowed to charge fees for either abortion option if you have a valid Quebec health insurance card.
Questions you can ask your healthcare provider
Now that you know more about abortion options (in-clinic abortion or the abortion pill), learn how to advocate for the choice that’s best for you.
Most abortion clinics in Quebec offer both abortion options, but some might have more experience or comfort with one over the other and that can affect how they discuss those options with you. Ultimately, if you are eligible for either option, the choice is yours.
Here are some questions people often ask their healthcare provider or pharmacist to explore their abortion options:
- How many appointments should I expect for an in-clinic abortion or the abortion pill?
- How long should I expect the abortion and recovery to take?
- Will I need downtime for either option?
- Is there any follow-up care involved?
- What are my options for pain management?
- How many pills are included in the abortion pill process?
- What should I bring to the appointment(s) with me?
- How soon can I complete the abortion process?
Advocating for yourself
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Other helpful tips:
- Bring a notepad and pen or use your phone to jot things down
- Make a list beforehand of questions you need answered
- Ask if you can bring a support person — usually this is allowed, but it depends on COVID-19 protocols
- Remember: This is your abortion — and it should be on your terms
If you have concerns about the care you received, there is information on the Government of Quebec website about how to file a complaint.