Abortion in Canada: Understanding the experiences and choices of women who’ve faced unwanted pregnancies

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Understanding the experiences and choices of women who’ve faced unwanted pregnancies

November 22, 2022 – An unplanned or unwanted pregnancy is a life experience that has touched nearly three-in-ten Canadian women, but their anxieties, challenges, and choices can be among the least discussed aspects of the abortion debate.

A new study from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute – the first in a three-part series – canvasses the personal experiences of those who have faced an unwanted pregnancy and either had a surgical or procedural abortion or carried that unwanted pregnancy to term. What did they decide to do? What was the experience like? Was it a decision that led to contentment or regret? While advocates loudly and vociferously debate the morality and legality of the issue, researchers heard from women who navigated these challenges themselves.

A significant segment of Canadian women report proximity to the situation: two-in-five (41%) say someone close to them – an intimate friend or a family member – has had an abortion. For one-in-six women, it has formed part of their own history: 16 per cent have gone through a surgical or procedural abortion. An almost equal sized group of women (15%) report carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term. Among those who opted for abortion, 16 per cent had a difficult time obtaining one.

Survey INDEX - View All categories by following link

Part One: Personal experiences

  • Proximity to abortion in the lives of Canadians
  • Access a challenge for close to one-in-five
  • Regrets exist, but vast majority stand by decision

Part Two: How many have carried unwanted pregnancy to term?

 View Full Survey at link below:


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