Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date



In addressing whether the procedure for obtaining abortions was operating equitably across Canada the 1977 Badgley Report concluded that for many women access to abortion was practically illusory Sadly although abortion on request became legally permissible for Canadian women in 1988 access to a safe and legal abortion remains practically illusory for many women today A woman seeking an abortion in Canada must overcome numerous barriers She must find a way to secure for herself some of the limited resources that our health care system provides for abortion She must also expend her own often scarce personal resources her time her money and her emotional energy Access is also compromised by other factors such as the lack of information support and privacyIn this paper we will examine both legal and nonlegal barriers to abortion through a legal lens That is we will provide a comprehensive description of the multitude of systemic personal and other barriers that have been identified in various places in the literature and then explore ways in which law could be used to deconstruct these barriers The ultimate goal is to contribute to the development of legal strategies aimed at achieving meaningful access to abortion for all women in Canada