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An abortion is a medical procedure performed to end a pregnancy, which is done in a hospital or free-standing clinic. There are two types of abortion in Canada: medication up to 7 weeks gestation and surgical up to 24 weeks gestation.

Gestation is calculated based on the first day of your last menstrual period or with a dating ultrasound. You will need to know the first day of your last menstrual period or have a dating ultrasound in order to book an abortion. If you are seeking an abortion past 24 weeks gestation please contact the Action Canada Access Line at 1-888-642-2725.

Abortions are legal, safe, medical procedures covered by OHIP, although some clinics may charge an administrative fee. You do not need a doctor’s referral to have an abortion and the record of your abortion is kept separate from your health records.

SHORE Centre is a resource centre and does not provide any medical or clinical services, but we can connect you to an abortion provider.

Have questions about abortion? Read the facts here.

Click here for more information about what to expect following an abortion.

Abortion Options

Medication Abortion

Up to 7 weeks (49 days) gestation

  • Medication abortion is not available in Waterloo Region. The nearest providers are in Toronto
  • The abortion pill Mifegymiso is now available at limited clinics within the Greater Toronto Area
  • One method involves taking 1 tablet (mifepristone) at the clinic/hospital and then taking 4 tablets (misoprostol) at home. The medication costs between $300 and $347, and may be covered by some private insurance plans
  • An alternate method involves an injection (methotrexate) during the first appointment and vaginal tablets (misoprostol) to be inserted at home. This medication is covered by your Ontario Health Card*, and is not available to those without a health card
  • The abortion process is similar to a miscarriage
  • You will experience symptoms such as heavy bleeding, nausea, cramping, headache and chills
  • Symptoms often only last for a few hours, but some may experience symptoms on and off several days
  • A a minimum of 2 appointments will be required depending on the clinic that you choose

Surgical Abortion

Up to approximately 14 weeks gestation

  • Procedure takes 5 to 10 minutes
  • Pain medication and sedatives provided
  • You will be awake during the procedure
  • There are clinics that can perform a surgical abortion under general anaesthesia
  • Symptoms include bleeding, cramping, and nausea for approximately one week
  • Most people are able to return to their day-to-day activities within 24 hours
  • This is the only abortion method available in Waterloo Region (up to 13 weeks)
  • Costs for this method are covered by your Ontario Health Card*

Surgical Abortion

Between approximately 15 and 24 weeks

  • May take up to 3 back to back appointments
  • The doctor will determine how many appointments are needed
  • If two appointments: laminaria will be inserted to dilate your cervix, you will return the following day to have your abortion
  • If three appointments, laminaria will be inserted on day 1 and day 2, your abortion will take place on day 3
  • You will be awake during the procedure
  • There are also clinics that can perform the abortion under general anaesthesia
  • Pain medication and sedatives are provided for your comfort
  • The nearest providers are located in London and Toronto
  • Costs for this method are covered by your Ontario Health Card*

*Please note that individual clinics may charge a fee for their services

Need help connecting with an abortion provider?

Contact us