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Ending a pregnancy is never easy. Sometimes you may need to end a pregnancy for personal or medical reasons. Other times it could happen on its own, as is the case of miscarriage or spontaneous abortion. Many resources about abortion are available to B.C. residents. If you have questions about pregnancy options, procedures and other topics, you can call these toll-free numbers:
- Pregnancy Options Line: 1-888-875-3163 throughout B.C. or 604-875-3163 from the Lower Mainland. This service provides information, resources and referral for all abortion services, including counselling. These services are available to B.C. residents
- Sex Sense Line: 1-800-SEX-SENSE (1-800-739-7367) throughout B.C. or 604-731-7803 from the Lower Mainland. This service offers general sexual and reproductive health information. They also provide referral to resources throughout B.C.
If you have been forced to have sex without your consent, visit:
- VictimLinkBC: www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/justice/criminal-justice/victims-of-crime/victimlinkbc or call toll-free 1-800-563-0808.
- Victimsinfo.ca: www.victimsinfo.ca
If you have had unprotected sex and worry about an unwanted pregnancy, there are ways to prevent it. Emergency contraception is a method that is safe for most women. It can be either an emergency contraceptive pill (EPC) or a copper IUD. While the copper IUD can remain in place and be used as regular birth control, the EPC should not be. The EPC is designed to keep you from getting pregnant after having unprotected sex. The EPC is less effective than regular contraceptive methods.
Emergency contraception does not end an existing pregnancy. Abortion is the only way to end an existing pregnancy.
Deciding to end a pregnancy is not an easy decision. Take time to learn about the different options available to you. Careful consideration of the types of abortion and the associated risks may help you make a decision that is right for you. It is important to speak to your health care provider about your concerns or any questions you have.
An abortion is performed either medically or surgically, depending on how far along you are in the pregnancy. Learn more about abortion options.
In a medical abortion, you will receive medication in a doctor's office to stop the pregnancy from developing. You can have it done up to 63 days after your last menstrual period. Medical abortions can be a safe, accessible option.
After 5 weeks, surgical abortion is the primary option to terminate a pregnancy. Surgical abortion can involve vacuum aspiration or dilation and evacuation.
Care after an Abortion
You may experience many emotions both before and after having any of these procedures. Your feelings may be complex. You may also experience physical symptoms such as bleeding and cramping following the procedure. It is important to ensure that you take good care of your emotional and physical health. Speak to a health care provider or professional counsellor about any symptoms or difficult emotions you have after the abortion.
Options for Sexual Health
Options for Sexual Health offers current sexual and reproductive health care, information and education. See Options for Sexual Health – Abortion Resources.
BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre
BC Women’s Hospital operates the CARE program. This program serves women who are experiencing an unintended pregnancy, or who need an abortion for genetic or medical reasons. See BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre – Abortion & Contraception.
Vancouver Coastal Health – Abortion Services
Learn more about abortion services in Vancouver (PDF, 118KB).
Last Updated: June 2021