• %
    urban points of service |
    rural points of service*
    urban points of service |
    rural points of service
  • 82
    % urban population | 
    % rural population*
  • 9 points of service per 1,003,785 women of reproductive age
  • 21
     crisis pregnancy centre(s)*
Access Overview
  • 9
     publicly listed point of service*
     publicly listed points of service*
    (both medication and procedural abortion offered)
     point(s) of service for medication abortion
     point(s) of service for procedural abortion
    Functional gestational limit of 
    24 weeks
    Functional gestational limit of 
    24 weeks
    No centralized system to assist the public in connecting with abortion services
    Information about abortion is available on the 
    provincial/territorial website
    Information about abortion is not available on the provincial/territorial website

Medication abortion

Cost coverage

Mifegymiso is fully covered for residents of Alberta.

Billing code

Billing codes are used by physicians to bill provincial/territorial health insurance plans for the different services that they provide. When there isn’t a billing code for medical abortion, physicians can be de-incentivized from providing it.  

There is no billing code for medical abortion in Alberta’s Medical Procedure List. When interviewed for an article written about barriers to medical abortion in Alberta, the Alberta government said that “visits and consultations are not illness specific,” and that “a physician would bill for a visit/consultation regardless of topic discussed.”


Alberta has virtual care billing codes that physicians can use for telemedicine. The College & Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta also permits the provision of nursing services to clients physically located within the province, including telemedicine services when appropriate.

Telemedicine abortion has been found to be as safe and effective as medical abortions provided at clinics. Because telemedicine abortion allows patients to access care in their homes and often requires just one trip to a pharmacy or clinic, expanding its availability is critical to improving abortion access for people who live in rural communities, who can’t take time off work to go to appointments, or who are at risk of stigma or discrimination.

Legislation, policies, and regulations

Access to abortion for minors

There is no legislated age of consent for medical treatment in Alberta. The Court of Appeal in J.S.C. v. Wren declared in 1986 that the mature minor doctrine was part of the law in Alberta, but also stated that “parental rights (and obligations) clearly do exist, and they do not wholly disappear until the age of majority.”1 The mature minor doctrine applies to minors accessing health care, including abortion.2 This means that a minor who can understand and appreciate the nature, purpose, and reasonably foreseeable consequences of a proposed medical treatment and its alternatives/refusal can give valid legal consent.

Bubble zone legislation

Bubble zone legislation aims to prevent anti-abortion protestors from harassing people within the vicinity of a facility that provides abortion care. Even though criminalizing individual people will not effectively curb the larger anti-abortion movement, these laws can be effective in deterring anti-choice protestors from harassing providers and patients entering and exiting abortion clinics.

The Protecting Choice for Women Accessing Health Care Act was passed on May 30, 2018 and established an “access zone” of 50 metres around facilities that provide abortion care, though access zones can be extended up to 150 metres through regulations. Physicians and other service providers may apply for a zone of up to 20 metres around their offices and 160 metres around their homes. The law also prohibits the harassment of physicians and service providers.

Belief-based care denial

Although abortion is an essential medical service, physicians and nurse practitioners can refuse to provide abortion care due to their personal beliefs under current legislation and policies set by regulatory bodies. This practice is often referred to as “conscientious objection,” although a more accurate term may be “belief-based care denial.”


The College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta has a Standard of Practice on Conscientious Objection enforceable under the Health Professions Act that states that in cases of conscientious objection, physicians must ensure patients are offered timely access to either another physician who can provide the medical treatment or information, or a resource that will provide accurate information about all available medical options. The option to offer patients information or a resource means that physicians aren’t necessarily obligated to refer patients to providers who can give them the care they need.3

The Standard of Practice on Conscientious Objection also states that:

  • A regulated member must communicate promptly and respectfully about any treatments or procedures the regulated member declines to provide based on [their] Charter freedom of conscience and religion.
  • A regulated member must not withhold information about the existence of a procedure or treatment because providing that procedure or giving advice about it conflicts with his/her Charter freedom of conscience and religion.
  • A regulated member must not promote [their] own moral or religious beliefs when interacting with patients.

Alberta has a Catholic healthcare provider called Covenant Health. Covenant Health operates hospitals, clinics and employs a large network of healthcare providers. Their Health Ethics Guide explicitly states that abortion is not permitted. On conscientious objection, the guide states that “health care and other professionals should not be expected to participate in procedures that are contrary to their professional judgement or to their conscience or that are contrary to the values or mission of their organization. However, they must not abandon those to whom they provide care.” 

Nurse practitioners

The College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta has formally adopted the Canadian Nurses Association’s Code of Ethics for Registered Nurses, which states that in cases of conscientious objection, nurses are obligated to notify their employers or the patient receiving care in advance so that alternative arrangements can be made.

Out-of-country medical policy

In some instances, patients may have to travel outside of the country to receive abortion care currently not available in Canada. The Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan includes out-of-country coverage for patients referred for insured health services not available in Canada under the Out-of-Country Health Services Regulation.

Travel support

The Out-of-Country Health Services Regulation does not include coverage for travel, accommodation, or subsistence costs.

court cases on abortion

Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform v. City of Grande Prairie (AB: 2016 / 2018)

2018 ABCA 154

The Alberta Court of Appeal upheld a lower court decision from 2016 where the City of Grand Prairie refused to place offensive anti-abortion ads by the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform on the backs of buses. The Court of Appeal noted that the lower court’s decision was reasonable.

Lethbridge & District Pro-Life Association v City of Lethbridge (AB: 2020)

2020 ABQB 654

An anti-abortion group brought an action against the City of Lethbridge for refusing to place five ads for buses, bus benches and shelters. The Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench highlighted that the City of Lethbridge did not appropriately balance the Canadian Code of Advertisement Standards with other considerations such as the advertiser’s freedom of expression and the city's statutory objectives. As such, the court held that the city's decision was unreasonable.

UAlberta Pro-Life v Governors of University of Alberta (AB: 2020)

2020 ABCA 1

The complainants – an anti-abortion organization – requested the Alberta Court of Appeal decide whether the Charter applied to a university decision regarding an anti-abortion event hosted by the organization. The Court held that the University of Alberta’s regulation of free expression on campus is considered governmental action and subject to Charter scrutiny.


1 The College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta. (2015, June). Informed Consent for Minors. CPSA.

2 Teaching Sexual Health. (n.d.). Do you need parental consent to get an abortion? 

3 The Refusal to Provide Health Care in Canada. (2022, November). Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada.

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