Canadian court decisions
The following is general information only, and should not be interpreted as legal
advice. Do not make any decisions on the basis of this essay. If you have a personal
problem in this area, you may want to consult a legal professional.
Abortion access is a federal matter in Canada; only one law governs abortion access across the entire country. This contrasts with the U.S. where each state has jurisdication over abortion access within its own territory.
During 1988-JAN-28, the Canadian Supreme Court determined that the
1969 Federal law regulating abortion to be in conflict with the Canadian Charter of Rights
and Freedoms -- the Canadian constitution. The law was thus declared unconstitutional
across the country. Almost three decades later, Canada still lacks a law restricting
abortion. The decision whether or not to have the procedure is left up to :
- the woman,
- her physician working under the
regulations of her provincial medical association, and perhaps
- the woman's
Canada is believed to be unique among Western countries by
lacking a law regulating abortion access. Attempts have been made to introduce bills into Parliament to restrict access to abortion. None have been successful as of 2019-APR.
Until and unless a new law is passed that controls abortion access in Canada, the regulations of individual provincial and territorial medical associations will control access.
- "R. v. Morgentaler," (1988), Canadian Legal Information Institute, at:
- A more complete description of Canadian law on abortion is available from the World
Wide Legal Information Association at: http://www.wwlia.org/
Copyright © 1998 to 2012 by Ontario Consultants on
Latest update: 2018-DEC-16
Author: B.A. Robinson