How to Access Abortion after 24 Weeks
Canada does not have any options for abortion past 23 weeks and 6 days gestational age. If you are near or past 24 weeks pregnant and seeking an abortion, you may not be able to receive care in Canada, and you may need to travel to the United States. The first step is to consult with your doctor or with a nurse at the Sexual Health Centre. Below is a guide for what your care might look like. However, the path to access abortion will look different for everyone. Always follow the direction of your doctor and what you know is best for you. Below is a guide to get you started. It will NOT provide all of the information and guidance you need.
A Few Resources
1. Confirm gestational age.
- You will likely need an ultrasound confirming gestational age and measurements. If you don’t have a family doctor, you can receive a referral for an ultrasound from a Sexual Health Centre.
- If you are right around 24 weeks, there are some Ontario clinics you can try first. While it’s unlikely they’ll be able to see you in the timeframe needed, it’s worth a try. Please see the listings for Bay Centre for Birth Control, Cabbagetown Women’s Clinic, and Women’s Health Care Clinic at Victoria Hospital on this page.
2. Contact National Abortion Federation (NAF) Canada to start the referral process.
- If you need financial support, don’t have a family doctor, or aren’t sure what clinic in the United States to make an appointment at, you should call the National Abortion Federation (NAF) Canada.
- The National Abortion Federation is an American abortion support organization that has a Canadian branch. They have an Ontario coordinator who can help get clients to the U.S. for abortion greater than 24 weeks. They have a hotline that can be reached at 1-800-772-9100. You will need to navigate through menu options. In the first question about location, wait until the very end and there will be an option to select that you’re not in the United States. Once you’re connected to an operator, tell them that you’re in Canada and need to come to the States for an abortion.
3. Get a passport.
- If you do not already have a passport, it may be possible to get one quickly, depending on the circumstances. This will partially depend on if you already have all of the other documentation you need in order to get a passport, such as your birth certificate.
- If you need help with the passport application process, you can reach out to Niagara Reproductive Justice at email@example.com.
- The passport can be expedited for medical reasons. You should obtain a letter from a healthcare professional explaining that you need to access time sensitive medical care that is unavailable in Canada. You must visit a passport office in person in order to apply. Do not apply by mail.
4. Contact your family doctor for a referral, or ask NAF for help.
- You will need to be referred to the U.S. clinic by a physician. If you do not have a family doctor, NAF can help provide a connection with a doctor who can make the referral.
5. Book an appointment at the abortion clinic. Determine how the procedure will be paid for (e.g. OHIP).
- NAF can help you determine which clinic in the States makes the most sense for you. Some clinics may require a deposit of a couple hundred dollars, others may not. If the deposit is a barrier to choosing a clinic, NAF or NRJ may be able to help. See Funding section below.
- Some clinics accept OHIP, others may not. Some clinics may require a deposit, others may not.
6. Fill out the MOH Out-of-Country Prior Approval form (if requiring OHIP coverage).
- You can find the form here: Out of Country Prior Approval Program – Ontario Health Insurance Plan – Ministry Programs – Public Information – MOHLTC (gov.on.ca)
- This form requires details about the referring physician and the abortion clinic. You may also need to attach any relevant medical documentation. NAF can help you fill out the form. If you do not have a family doctor, NAF can connect you with a doctor who will be able to fill out the form.
7. Buy a plane ticket. Contact NAF for financial assistance.
- You may need to book a plane, bus, or train ticket. If you have financial concerns, NAF may be able to assist. Contact NAF first. If they are not able to provide all of the financial assistance required, you can ask NAF if they would be willing to reach out to Action Canada to cover the difference. If that doesn’t work, you can reach out to Niagara Reproductive Justice at firstname.lastname@example.org for financial assistance (only a small amount can be provided).
8. Book a hotel. Contact NAF for financial assistance.
- See Funding section below for potential financial assistance avenues. NAF may be able to pay for the hotel.
9. Arrange other travel details (travel to and from airport, food, time off work/school, etc).
- If you need help arranging the logistics of your travel and care that is above and beyond what NAF can provide, you can contact Niagara Reproductive Justice at email@example.com.
10. Determine what other support you might need.
- This might include a plane/bus/train ticket for an accompanying friend or family member, supplies like ibuprofen and motion sickness medication or candies, a ride to the airport, a gift certificate for food delivery, or a resource for emotional support.
If at any point in the process you need financial assistance, there are options:
- National Abortion Federation (NAF) Canada: for bigger expenses like procedure costs and overnight accommodations. Will work with Hope Air to cover the cost of plane tickets as well.
- Phone: 1-800-772-9100
- Hours: M-F 8am-7pm, weekend 8am-4pm. May need to leave a voicemail even within these hours.
- More info: www.prochoice.org/patients/naf-hotline
- Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights: for bigger expenses like procedure costs and overnight accommodations. NAF works closely with Action Canada to cover funding needs.
- Phone: 1-888-642-2725
- Hours: 7 days a week 9am-9pm. May need to leave a voicemail even within these hours.
- More info: www.actioncanadashr.org/call-access-line-1-888-642-2725
- Niagara Reproductive Justice: for smaller expenses such as short taxi rides, meals, Passport application fee, etc.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Hours: will reply to email requests within 24 hours. If the client requires a phone call back, indicate that in the email.
- More info: www.niagarareproductivejustice.com/support