Stephen Bohus

Number of Reported Abortions


Ontario 32,619

Quebec 24,053

British Columbia 10,525*

Alberta 5,898

Manitoba                       3,027*

Saskatchewan               1,233*

Nova Scotia                  1,746

New Brunswick               373*

Newfoundland                             433

PEI                                      6

NWT                               373**

Yukon                             139**

Total           80,435

*87/88 financial year data

**projected from 86 figures from Statistics Canada


The statistical figures were obtained from the provinces individually under the Freedom of Information Act. The figures provided are the number of medicare billings for abortions. Statistics Canada reports figures gathered only from hospitals with abortion committees.

The Morgentaler (3,605) and Scott (977) clinic figures were added to the medicare (hospital) figure in Ontario. In Metropolitan Toronto, a total of 19,678 abortions were reported, of which 15,096 were done in hospitals. The total 1987 figure does not include private free-standing clinics in Quebec. Also, Canadian women who went to the United States to obtain abortions outside of medicare are not included. Women in Canada who obtained abortions outside of medicare (so they won’t have any record of the abortion) are not included in the figure. Finally, abortions may be deliberately misclassified into a category other than “terminating a pregnancy” (such as diagnostic D&Cs) and consequently abortions would not be reported in the abortion figure. For the above reasons, the abortion statistics compiled represent only a minimal number of the actual total. These statistics are not the complete numbers.

However, these statistics include all abortions which were billed under medicare in all Canadian hospitals, two private free-standing clinics in Ontario, and a very few medical billings outside the country. Statistics Canada reports only information for hospitals with abortion committees. The Badgley Report on the Operation of the Abortion Law referred to the figures from Statistics Canada as “lean, selective and incomplete.” (p. 44). Since the above chart has a higher number of abortions than reported by Statistics Canada, it seems to suggest that these statistics are more complete than the ones published by Statistics Canada.