Clinique des femmes de l’Outaouais

1 819 778-2055
Contact us

Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

Is abortion legal?

Yes, it is, since 1988, when the Supreme Court of Canada decided that the old law was unconstitutional. The Quebec Health and Social Services Ministry regulates access to abortion services, the Collège des médecins du Québec ensures the quality of the medical act and the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec is responsible for the payment to physicians.

How do I know I am pregnant?

As soon as your menstrual period is late, you can have a pregnancy test done. A pregnancy test requiring a urine sample can be bought in any pharmacy. You don’t have to do a blood test or to contact your family physician to make an appointment.

How can I have an abortion?

For a surgical abortion, it is recommended to wait until the 6th week of pregnancy since the risk of an incomplete abortion is greater before that time. We perform the procedure between the 6th and the 15th week of pregnancy, but it is still possible to get an abortion safely until the 23rd week in other institutions in the province of Quebec. It is important to know that the age of a pregnancy is calculated from the first day of your last period and not from the date that you think you became pregnant.

An abortion using medications can take place until the 9th week since the last menstrual period.

What should I do to get an appointment?

You need to call the Clinic yourself to make an appointment. Before you call, make sure you take a pregnancy test, even if you are certain that you are pregnant. We will also ask you the date of your last menstrual period. If you have any doubts regarding the date, just let us know so we can give you an appointment accordingly. Generally, you will be given two appointments. The first one is with a nurse. She will provide you with all of the information required to prepare yourself for the abortion. The second appointment is for the abortion itself. If you are undecided and want to talk about your decision, you can also make an appointment.

Do I need a doctor’s referral in order to get an abortion at the Clinic?

No, you do not need a doctor’s referral. You can call the Clinic directly in order to make an appointment.

Do my parents need to consent for the abortion?

Women who are younger than 14 years old will require consent from a parent or legal guardian in order to obtain an abortion or any other medical care. If you are 14 years old or older, you should give consent for the procedure. We need to ensure that it is your decision and that you do not suffer from external pressures to terminate or continue the pregnancy.

Does my spouse have a say about the abortion?

The decision to obtain an abortion belongs to the woman who is pregnant. Even though many women feel supported by their spouse while making their decision, it is not always the case. Occasionally, the alleged father tries to impose his decision to terminate the pregnancy or to pursue it. Legally, he has no right over the decision. If you experience any pressure from your spouse or any another person, let us know.

Is there a long delay to obtain an appointment for an abortion?

Usually, the intervention will take place within two weeks after your first call to the clinic.

How long are the appointments?

The initial appointment with the nurse lasts approximately 45 minutes.

For a surgical abortion, plan to stay at the clinic between 1 and 2 hours the day of the intervention.

For an abortion using medications, the appointment with the doctor and the nurse should last around 30 minutes.

What will you do to protect my right to privacy?

We will do everything we can to protect your confidentiality. When booking your first appointment over the phone, you will be able to discuss the different ways we can take to ensure your appointment remains as confidential as possible. For example, you can tell our staff not to leave a message on a voicemail, or not to send anything by mail. Please know that we offer many different kinds of appointments here. So the people you see in the waiting room will not know whether you are there for a pap test, a consult for contraception, or for an abortion. Throughout your appointments, we will call you by your first name. If you want to be called differently, please let the receptionist know.

What happens on the day of the abortion? (surgical method)

You will first be greeted by the nurse who will accompany you throughout the procedure. She will help you get ready. You will then meet the doctor who will do the abortion. You will have the opportunity to ask her/him all the questions you have.

The medical technique that we use is the simplest and most common: dilation-aspiration-curettage done under local anaesthesia. You are offered medication for reducing stress and pain.

The intervention lasts approximately 10 minutes. This is followed by a rest period of 30 to 40 minutes, at which time you can leave the clinic.
For more information about the medical procedure, please refer to our information guide on abortion.

Do you offer medical abortions?

Yes, we offer medical abortion using Mifegymiso. It is a combination of two medications inducing a miscarriage. The first medication, Mifepristone, blocks the effect of progesterone and stops the pregnancy. The second medication, Misoprostol, should be taken 24 to 28 hours after, at home. It is used to stimulate the contractions of the uterus in order to expel the pregnancy. Cramps and bleeding can be important.

Three appointments are necessary: a preparation meeting with a nurse, a meeting to take the first medication with the nurse and the doctor, and a mandatory follow-up meeting to ensure the pregnancy termination has been completed.

Could I be put to sleep during a surgical abortion?

No, we do not provide abortions under general anaesthesia at the Women’s clinic. We will offer you two very effective intravenous medicines to reduce stress and pain. If you insist or require that the abortion be performed under general anaesthesia, we can refer you to a provider offering this possibility.

Can someone come with me for the procedure?

You will need to be accompanied the day of the surgical abortion. However, the person accompanying you will have to wait in the waiting room. In accordance with medical standards and to protect your privacy, the person accompanying you cannot enter the procedure room or the recovery room. A nurse will be with you at all stages of the procedure. The person accompanying you will bring you back home since you cannot drive for 24 hours after the procedure.

Can you prescribe a contraceptive method to make sure I don’t get pregnant again?

Yes. You can talk about contraceptive methods with the nurse and the doctor. They will be able to provide you with all the information you need to find a method that works for you. The doctor can write you a prescription. If you want to, the doctor can also insert an intrauterine device (IUD) right after the surgical abortion. If you chose a medical abortion, the doctor can insert an intrauterine device (IUD) the day of the follow up appointment. If you prefer to discuss contraception during another appointment, it is also possible.

What do you with the product of conception you remove from the uterus?

The tissues removed from the uterus by surgical abortions are sent to the hospital laboratory for examination. They will later be ethically disposed of.

Is surgical abortion dangerous?

As for all medical interventions, voluntary pregnancy termination is associated with risks of complications. These complications are rare and generally easy to treat. We will explain to you how to recognize the signs of complications and above all, how to avoid them. You will be given advice on how to care for yourself after the procedure. For more information about risks and precautions to take, please refer to our information guide on abortion.

If you have a family doctor, we recommend a follow up visit 4 to 6 weeks after the procedure. If you do not have a family doctor or if you do not want to tell her/him about your abortion, you may have a follow up appointment here at the Clinic. Give us a call to schedule the appointment.

Can surgical abortion make me infertile?

A surgical abortion provided by a doctor who has received the proper training, using the dilation-aspiration-curettage method, in an environment that carefully follows medical practice standards, is not associated with an increased risk of infertility. This remains the same if this is not your first abortion. Infertility is usually caused by untreated infections. It is crucial to carefully follow the advice you were given in order to avoid complications.

Is abortion with medications safe?

As with any medical intervention, the voluntary termination of pregnancy with medications is associated with the risk of complications. These complications are rare and generally easy to treat. We will explain how to recognize them and above all, how to avoid them. Advice will be given to take care of you after taking the medication. For more information on risks and advice, please see our general information guide on abortion with abortion with medications.

A mandatory follow-up visit will be scheduled 10 to 14 days after the first medication is taken to ensure that there are no complications and that the termination is completed.

How much does the surgical procedure costs?

Québec residents : The procedure is fully covered with a valid RAMQ card (Quebec Provincial Health card). You need to have the card with you the day of the procedure.

Ontario residents: No fees if you provide your valid OHIP card.

Women covered by the Interim Federal Health Programme: The procedure is fully covered by the Interim Federal Health Programme. You should present your Refugee Protection Claimant Document and your Interim Federal Health Certificate of Eligibility.

Women with no health cards: For an abortion up to 13.6 weeks of pregnancy, the cost is $212,95. For an abortion after 14 weeks, the cost is $378,35. Additional fees will be charged for laboratory analysis at the hospital.

Women with private health coverage will need to pay for the abortion but can ask their insurance company for reimbursement. For international students, only women registered in Universities can be reimbursed for an abortion. Women registered in a Cegep will not be reimbursed. Bring your insurer’s claim form on the day of the procedure so the doctor can sign it.

You have the opportunity to show your solidarity towards other women who would not have access to our abortion and contraception services, by making a donation to the Women’s Clinic.

Abortion with medications is free for women with a Quebec valid health insurance card. Please contact the Women’s Clinic directly for an idea of the cost of abortion with medication for women who do not have a valid RAMQ card.

How is my donation making a difference?

Concretly, donations to the Women’s clinic are used to :

  • Help women obtain an abortion at the Women’s clinic or elsewhere;
  • Support the development of new services. This year, donations to the Women’s clinic have contributed to offering Pap tests to women who do not have a family doctor and who are unable to pay to obtain this service in a private clinic.
  • Help women access adequate birth control methods. Not all women have the necessary insurance coverage allowing them to buy a contraceptive method that works for them;
  • Help organizations working to improve and maintain access to abortion services in Quebec and in Canada.

A donation to the Women’s Clinic is a humanitarian gesture towards other women and a sign of solidarity.

Donations can be made on site in cash, interact or Visa. Donations can be anonymous. Please note that we are unable to provide charity receipts for donations.

Thank you for your generosity.

In which language do you offer services?

Clinic’s staff can speak to you in French and English. Most of the time, staff who speak Spanish are present on site to help you. We can also offer LSQ translations or translations in other languages if necessary. If you have special translation needs, please let us know in advance.

Where are you located?

Our address is 228 boul. St-Joseph, bureau 201. It is located in Gatineau, Hull sector, in the Wrigthtville neighbourhood, close to the Allumettières roundabout.

Do you have parking spaces?

We do not have parking spaces specific to the Clinic. However, you can park on the surrounding streets. Please note that parking spaces on St-Joseph have meters and those on other surrounding streets do not.

Do you do curettage for unviable pregnancies and miscarriages?

The Women’s clinic specializes in voluntary pregnancy terminations. Curettage for unviable pregnancies and incomplete miscarriages are generally done by gynaecologists at the hospital.