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The Abortion Access Tracker is a centralized resource for information about policies, laws, and regulations that impact abortion access in Canada.
It is an expansion of LEAF’s Access to Choice: The Legal Framework for Abortion Access in Nova Scotia resource created by Julianne Stevenson, Jennifer Taylor, and Mary Rolf; and Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights' Access at a Glance resource.

Abortion is not a single issue

Being able to access abortion care in your own community is important. However, improving abortion access is about more than increasing the number of clinics and hospitals offering abortion care.

Beyond the most common barriers to abortion, access is affected by many other factors, circumstances, and policies that impact a person’s ability to access health care and make informed decisions about their reproductive health. For example:

  • Lack of access to childcare may prevent a person from being able to travel to an abortion clinic located outside of their community
  • Insufficient job protections may make it difficult for a person to take time off without fear of losing their job
  • Intimate partner violence and reproductive coercion can severely compromise a person’s ability to contact health care providers or attend appointments
  • Inadequate sex-ed may result in knowledge gaps that make a person more susceptible to mis/disinformation 

Other factors like a person’s immigration status, what language(s) they speak, whether they have a primary care provider, the kind of support they have or lack, their housing situation, and whether they can access the internet or a cell phone can affect their access to health care. Access is additionally impeded for those who experience racism and/or other forms of identity-based oppression. 

The way our culture understands and treats abortion also shapes people’s access to abortion. Abortion stigma is a widespread problem in our culture, and is often due to ignorance, mis/disinformation, or the manipulation of religious teachings. When abortion is not talked about, or only portrayed as a morally wrong option, people have difficulty accepting the idea that abortion is a common pregnancy outcome. When pregnancy is talked about only as a positive experience, it is difficult to accept that the alternative of carrying a pregnancy to term and giving birth could be a negative experience for someone. In public discourse, there are ideas about “good” and “bad” reasons for abortion, and more public support is garnered when the
is cast as a victim rather than making a decision relating to self-determination.1 Abortion stigma also makes it easier for politicians, institutional leaders, and policymakers to neglect to take the necessary steps to increase abortion access.

In thinking about who faces barriers to abortion in Canada, it is clear that a variety of approaches is needed to remove all barriers. On a larger scale, the fight for equitable abortion access requires a massive culture shift, and cannot be separated from movements for gender equity, racial justice, migrant justice, and economic justice. In other words, only in a world where everyone’s human rights are met, and where social supports are abundant, can access to safe abortion care be a reality for everyone who needs it.

To ensure that every person has access to safe and legal abortion care, it is necessary to understand the complex range of factors that impact access to abortion. The Abortion Access Tracker is an introductory resource and only one piece of a complex puzzle we are called to solve together as a society.

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About Action Canada & LEAF

Action Canada for Sexual Health & Rights

Action Canada for Sexual Health & Rights is a national-level charitable organization committed to advancing and upholding sexual and reproductive health and rights in Canada and globally. Our activities include a web-based information portal, a phone and text service offering sexual and reproductive health information and referral services, a national abortion access fund, media and awareness campaigns, as well as a diversity of policy work that educates and informs various actors and ensures governments, including Canada, meet their international obligations in order to advance sexual and reproductive rights.
Action Canada Website
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The Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF)

The Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) is a national not-for-profit that works to advance the equality rights of women, girls, trans, and non-binary people in Canada through litigation, law reform, and public legal education. Since 1985, LEAF has intervened in more than 130 cases that have helped shape the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. To find out more, visit
LEAF website
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We’re grateful to the following individuals who contributed to the Abortion Access Tracker:

Ifrah Mukhtar
Tennile Sunday
Sharon Lim
Ariane Wylie
Martha Paynter
Clare Heggie
Jill Doctoroff
Joyce Arthur
The Access Line team at Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights
Emma Arnold
Liliane Langevin
Catherine Dunne 
Sonia Purba
Sierra Farr
Anne Margaret Deck
Brittany Ross-Fichtner
Alexa Pashovitz
Nicole Biros-Bolton

We also thank the following organizations, whose resources we pulled from to inform the Abortion Policy Atlas:

This project has been supported by Women and Gender Equality Canada

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Contact Us

LEAF and Action Canada welcome any questions or feedback you might have about the Abortion Access Tracker. Get in touch with us by filling out this contact form.
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1 Stettner, S. (2016). Without Apology: Writings on abortion in Canada. In Athabasca University Press eBooks.

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