Newfoundland and Labrador

  • %
    urban points of service |
    rural points of service*
    urban points of service |
    rural points of service
  • 53
    % urban population | 
    % rural population*
  • 4 points of service per 100,270 women of reproductive age
  • 1
     crisis pregnancy centre(s)*
Access Overview
  • 4
     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 
    16 weeks
    Functional gestational limit of 
    16 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 anyone with a valid Medical Care Plan (MCP) card.

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.  

The Medical Payment Schedule includes a billing code for medical abortion.


The billing code for medical abortion can be used for services provided at a patient’s home. Newfoundland and Laborador physicians can also bill for telephone or video link consults through the use of temporary Pandemic Virtual Care Assessment (PVCA) codes. Per the specifications for these codes, both the patient and the physician must be located within the province.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Newfoundland and Labrador has a standard of practice on virtual care that sets out the College’s expectations of physicians who provide virtual care. The College of Registered Nurses of Newfoundland and Labrador has developed standards for virtual nursing that state: “Although ‘virtual’ care is not meant to replace traditional face-to-face care, sometimes, virtual care is the desired option, or the only option, especially for those who live in rural and remote areas where face-to face visits are not available.”

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

Under the Advanced Health Care Directives Act, it is presumed that people 16 years of age or older are competent to make health care decisions, while minors younger than 16 years of age are not. This means that minors under the age of 16 may consent to medical treatment including abortion care if they understand the information that is relevant to making a health care decision and are able to appreciate the reasonably foreseeable consequences of that decision.1

Despite this, a patient under the age of 19 must have parental consent to have a medical abortion at the Health Sciences Centre, unless they are independent of their family.2

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 Access to Abortion Services Act was the second safe access zone law passed in Canada and is nearly identical to British Columbia’s law. Under the Act, facilities that provide abortion care must apply for a zone, which is then established by regulations. Homes and offices of doctors who provide abortion are automatically protected, and access zones for the residences of a class of service providers, or the residence of a specific service provider, may be established by regulation. Harassment of doctors and service providers outside of the safe access zone is also prohibited under the Act.

The dimensions of the zones are calculated from the edge of the lot on which the home or facility is located and are set at: 

  • 160 metres for a doctor's or service provider's home 
  • 10 metres for a doctor's office (which can be extended up to a maximum of 20 metres) 
  • up to a maximum of 50 metres for a facility 

The Athena Health Centre had moved in 2015 and became besieged by protesters. The clinic began to collect evidence and do research, and met with government ministers to get support. The Justice Minister advocated the law in public, and in the meantime, the clinic was given an injunction to protect patients. The injunction banned anti-abortion activists within a 40 metre radius of Athena Health Clinic, where 90% of abortions in Newfoundland and Labrador are performed, as well as a 40 metre radius within the homes of clinic staff.

Soon after, the Access to Abortion Services Act and the Access to Abortion Services Regulations increased the access zone to a 50 metre radius and 160 metre radius from residences of clinic staff. The government adapted British Columbia’s bubble zone legislation because their law had already withstood constitutional scrutiny by the courts.

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 and Surgeons in Newfoundland and Labrador adopts the Canadian Medical Association’s Code of Ethics and Professionalism, which does not require physicians to provide or refer for a medical service they object to providing based on personal beliefs. This means that a physician may deny a patient abortion care, and is not obligated to provide them a referral to another provider or clinic.

Nurse practitioners

The College of Registered Nurses of Newfoundland and Labrador adopts 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. 

Newfoundland and Labrador’s Medical Care Plan includes out-of-province coverage for patients referred for medically necessary physician services not available in Canada. 

A Newfoundland and Labrador physician must submit a request form on behalf of the patient and receive prior approval from the Medical Care Plan in order for the patient to be eligible for coverage.

Travel support

Newfoundland and Labrador has two travel support programs for patients covered by the province’s Medical Care Plan (MCP):

Medical Transportation Assistance Program (MTAP)

MTAP is available for patients who need to access “specialized insured medical services” that are not available in their community and/or within the province. It includes airfare (and related eligible taxi fares); private vehicle usage; purchased registered and private accommodations (and related meal allowance); busing and use of ferries based on program criteria. Limitations and deductibles may apply.

Medical Transportation Benefits for Income Support Clients (ISMT)

ISMT is a needs based program that provides non-urgent medical transportation benefits to eligible Income Support clients and home support, long-term care, private paying personal care home and low-income residents seeking access to insured medical services. Eligible patients and their escorts receive 100% of eligible travel, accommodations, and meal expenses, within set limits. Patients may be required to pay a contribution towards the cost of the trip based on a financial eligibility assessment.

court cases on abortion

No cases found.


1 Government of Canada, Department of Justice, Electronic Communications. (2023, February 2). Department of Justice - Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and Children’s Participatory Rights in Canada.

2 Therapeutic Abortion in NL. (2020, July). Planned Parenthood Newfoundland & Labrador Sexual Health Centre.

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