How to Access Abortion in Niagara
A guide by Niagara Reproductive Justice. Last updated: January 29 2023.
- Call the Niagara Region Sexual Health Centre at (905) 688-3817. Hours: M-F 8:30am-4:30pm, closed for lunch 12pm-1pm. You will be able to speak to a nurse over the phone who will walk you through your options and help you find a clinic.
- Call the abortion clinic and make an appointment.
- Determine how you will get to your appointment(s) and what you will need. If you need support, contact email@example.com.
- Prepare for the appointment and for afterward. The clinic can tell you how to prepare.
- Beware of fake clinics posing as abortion clinics. Niagara has six fake anti-abortion clinics, the most active is called Clarity Pregnancy Options.
- If you don’t want to call the Sexual Health Centre or need to reach someone outside of business hours for pregnancy options counselling and abortion support, you can call Action Canada at 1-888-642-2725. You may need to leave a voicemail and they will return your call.
Detailed Instructions & What to Expect
- After a brief automated message, you’ll be connected to a receptionist where you can request an appointment with a nurse that can provide pregnancy options counselling (if you want) and more information about accessing abortion. The nurse can also help you determine which type of abortion (medical or surgical) is right for you, and help you figure out which clinic to call for the abortion. They can also walk you through what the process will be like based on the clinic you choose and tell you what to expect.
- The receptionist may ask you some basic questions before connecting you to a nurse, such as your name, date of birth, gender/pronouns, and address. You do not have to answer any of these questions if you don’t want to, you can request to remain anonymous, although providing these details will help the nurse keep track of your case if any follow-up is needed. You also do not need your health card number.
- If you prefer to speak to the nurse in person, you can make a same-day or next-day appointment with a nurse over the phone.
- You can also view a list of nearby abortion clinics, information about cost, and other resources on our Niagara Resources page, but for the most up-to-date information and support from a medically-trained professional, it is always best to contact the Sexual Health Centre.
- If you want, the Sexual Health Centre can provide a urine pregnancy test, but they cannot provide a blood test to confirm pregnancy.
- Once you’ve chosen an abortion clinic, you need to call them to make an appointment. Their contact information will be listed on their website.
- The clinic receptionist will ask you questions about your demographic information, weeks gestation (how many weeks you’ve been pregnant), and may ask for your health card number if you have one, or for your health coverage information. They will walk you through the process and tell you what to expect.
- Depending on your situation and the clinic, you may be required to come in for multiple appointments, or you may have just one appointment. Some clinics require that you get a referral from your family doctor or from the Sexual Health Centre beforehand. You may also be required to get an ultrasound and bloodwork before coming in for the abortion. If it is a surgical abortion, you may be required to come in for one, two, or three separate appointments over consecutive days. If it is a medical abortion, you may have to visit a pharmacy, or you may be able to fill the prescription at the clinic. The clinic will tell you what to expect and how to make any appointments that you need beforehand.
- If you have health coverage other than OHIP (such as GuardMe or UHIP), you may be required to get prior approval from your health insurance company. The clinic may need to send a fax to your health insurance company, or you may need to reach out to them yourself. Tell the clinic what health coverage you have and the clinic will tell you what you need to do. You can also view the cost breakdown here, but for the most up-to-date and accurate information, consult the clinic.
- If you need help with transportation or funding (for the abortion procedure or for any related costs such as transportation, childcare, overnight accommodations other related medical appointments), contact Niagara Reproductive Justice. We will get back to you at least within 24 hours, but usually much sooner. You can also call Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights at 1-888-642-2725 (you may need to leave a voicemail and they will return your call). Both organizations can be reached 7 days a week.
- Some clinics require that someone you know takes you home, they won’t allow you to take a taxi or Uber back from your appointment. If you don’t have a trusted person to drive you, contact Niagara Reproductive Justice and we can help arrange a volunteer driver.
- If you would like to be connected to an abortion doula who can provide emotional support and accompany you to appointments, contact Niagara Reproductive Justice.
- Niagara Reproductive Justice can also provide you with a post-abortion care kit that has some of the smaller items you may need, funding to cover smaller expenses such as food, help finding a pharmacy, and connections to other community resources. Please contact us with any questions, requests, or concerns and we will get back to you within 24 hours.
- Depending on your specific situation, you may need to take a day or multiple days off of work/school/caregiving responsibilities. Talk to the clinic about what you should expect.
- If you are having a medical abortion and cannot fill the prescription at the clinic, determine which pharmacy you will go to. Not all pharmacies carry mifegymiso (the abortion pill). Ask the abortion clinic where they recommend you go, or call your pharmacy and ask if they can fill your prescription. For additional support, contact Niagara Reproductive Justice.
- Make sure you have a safe place to rest after the procedure. If you do not have a safe place to rest, contact Niagara Reproductive Justice or Action Canada at 1-888-642-2725 for support.
- Make sure you have the things you need. You can download a free Zine (small artistic booklet) that has some great information about preparing for your abortion and aftercare here. There’s also some great tips here. More resources can be found on our Niagara Resources page.
- If you are interested in post-abortion counselling, please visit our Niagara Resources page and contact us if you want help navigating these resources.
In Niagara there are some organizations that pretend to be able to help you get an abortion, but in reality they are actually against abortion and will give you the wrong information on purpose. It can be very hard to identify these organizations for what they are. The following organizations are anti-abortion agencies that you should make sure to avoid:
- Clarity Pregnancy Options (previously known as Elisha House)
- Niagara Life Centre
- Grimsby Life Centre
- South Niagara Life Centre
- Atwell Centre (Hamilton)
- It is also recommended that you avoid the “Unborn Images” ultrasound company in Welland as they are connected to Clarity Pregnancy Options.
For more information, visit our webpage here.
If you don’t want to or can’t call the Sexual Health Centre or need to reach someone outside of business hours for pregnancy options counselling and abortion support, you can call Action Canada at 1-888-642-2725.
You may need to leave a voicemail and they will return your call.