Canadian Abortion Statistics for 2005

Statistics Canada reported that there were 96,815 induced abortions performed on Canadian women in 2005. Data on induced abortions performed on Canadian women in the United States is no longer collected as of 2004. Manitoba did not report numbers for induced abortions obtained in clinics in the province. The number of induced abortions recorded for every 100 live births was 28.3% . 


ANNUAL THERAPEUTIC ABORTIONS AND ABORTION RATES FOR CANADIAN WOMEN FROM 1970 - 2005 AS REPORTED BY STATISTICS CANADA AND THE CANADIAN INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH INFORMATION (CIHI)*

  Number Rate per 100 live births  
Year Hospital events Clinic events From U.S.A.    Total Hospital events Clinic events From U.S.A.    Total
1970  11,152 --  -- 11,152   3.0  --  --  3.0
1971  30.923  -- 6,309 37,232   8.5    -- 1.7 10.2
1972  38,853 -- 6,573 45,426  11.2   -- 1.9  13.1
1973  43,201 -- 5,501 48,702 12.6  -- 1.6 14.2
1974  48,136 --  4,299 52,435 13.7   -- 1.2 14.9
1975  49,311 --  4,394 53,705 13.7  --  1.2 14.9
1976  54,478 --  4,234 58,712 15.1  -- 1.2 16.3
1977  57,564  --  2,300 59,864 15.9  -- 0.6 16.5
1978  62,290 2,618 1,802 66,710 17.4 0.7 0.5 18.6
1979  65,043 3,629 1,073 69,745 17.8 1.0 0.3 19.1
1980  65,751 4,704  1,644  72,099 17.7 1.3 0.4 19.4
1981  65,053 4,207 2,651 71,911 17.5 1.1 0.7 19.3
1982  66,254 4,506 4,311 75,071  17.8 1.2 1.2 20.2
1983  61,750 3,635 3,983 69,368 16.5 1.0 1.1 18.6
1984  62,247 3,571 3,631 69,449 16.5 0.9 1.0 18.4
1985  62,712 3,706 2,798 69,216 16.7 1.0 0.7 18.4
1986  63,462 3,498 2,612 69,572 17.0 0.9 0.7 18.6
1987  63,585  3,681 2,757 70,023 17.2 1.0 0.7 18.9
1988  66,137 4,617 1,939 72,693  17.6 1.2 0.5 19.3
1989  70,705 7,059 1,551 79,315 18.0 1.8 0.4 20.2
1990  71,092 20,236 1,573 92,901 17.5 5.0 0.4 22.9
1991  70,277  23,343 1,439 95,059 17.5 5.8 0.3 23.6
1992  70,408 31,151   526 102,085 17.7 7.8 0.1 25.6
1993  72,434 31,508    461 104,403 18.7 8.1 0.1 26.9
1994  71,630 34,287   338 106,255 18.6 8.9 0.1 27.6
1995  70,549 35,650   459 106,658 18.7 9.4 0.1 28.6
1996  74,555 36,803    301 111,659  --  --  -- 30.5
1997  71,795 39,621   293 111,709   --  --  -- 32.0
1998  68,273   41,761   297 110,331  --  --  -- 32.2 
1999  63,815 41,620   231 105,666  --  --   -- 31.3 
2000  63,507  41,705   215 105,427   --  --  -- 32.2 
2001  61,227 45,016   175 106,418  --  --  -- 31.9
2002  58,254 46,748   152 105,154  --  --  -- 32.1
2003  56,089  47,530   149 103,768  --  --  -- 31.0
2004  53,670 46,369   ** 100,039  --  --  -- 29.7
2005  50,467 46,348   **   96,815  --  --  -- 28.3

 

*Induced abortions were classified as therapeutic beginning in 1969 when the first survey, the collection of legally induced abortion data was taken.  Statistics Canada says “the term ‘therapeutic’ remains in the title of the survey for the sake of historical consistency”.  Since 1970 abortion figures have been compiled for hospital abortions.  In 1978 Quebec began to report some figures for clinic abortions.  In 1990 the clinic figures reported related to Quebec, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia.  In 1991 published clinic data included figures reported from Alberta.  In 1994 clinic data included figures from New Brunswick.

Starting in 1995, therapeutic abortion data were collected from reporting areas within and outside the country by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI).  The data once collected is then transferred to Statistics Canada for analysis and publication.  The Induced Abortions Statistics 2005 publication is available as catalogue number82-223-XI. ** Since 2004, data for induced abortions performed on Canadian women in American states are no longer collected.

Note: As of 1999, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care no longer maintains a system for the collection of detailed information on abortions performed in Ontario clinics but instead uses the billing system of the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) to provide counts of clinic abortions to the Therapeutic Abortion Survey. This means that information is no longer available for clinic abortions performed on non-residents of Ontario or on Ontario residents who do not submit a claim to OHIP.

The total of 97,254 induced abortions reported in the Statistics Canada tables for 2005 on their website includes abortions performed on non-Canadian residents: the number 96,815  is for abortions performed on Canadian women only.  In 2005, Manitoba figures include only abortions performed in hospitals, no numbers were reported for clinics.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to formulate a complete profile of the women who undergo the abortion procedure because of incomplete and missing demographic and medical case data. 

Statistics Canada and the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) report a total of 97,254 abortions for 2005.  There are records in the database for 96,815 abortions and total detailed records for only 41,330 hospital and clinic abortions combined. Consequently, the percentage distribution of selected characteristics such as gestational age of the child, age of the mother, number of previous abortions, any immediate complications, etc. is based only on the total detailed records available. 

CLINICS:  The total number of clinic abortions reported in 2005 was 46,348 and these clinic abortions accounted for 47% of all abortions performed in 2005.  Only one province (Alberta) provided detailed records for 6,905 clinic abortions (14% of the 46,348 clinic abortions recorded in the database).  Ontario accounts for 36% of all abortions reported in Canada.

HOSPITALS: Canadian hospitals reported 50,562 induced abortions in 2005 and of the 50,467 listed in the database, detailed records are available for only 34,425.  Nineteen years ago in 1988, hospitals  reported 66,137 abortions and case items were missing for 5,484 of these cases (8%).  Hospitals  in Québec no longer fully report items such as: age of the mother,  previous deliveries, number of previous abortions, gestational age of the child at the time of abortion, nature of the abortion procedure, complications etc. 

Overall, using combined hospital and clinic figures, we learn that selected demographic and medical information is now available for only 42% of the 96,815 induced abortions performed on Canadian women in 2005.

From the incomplete data obtained by CIHI, Statistics Canada, Health Statistics Division reported that in 2005:

  1. 54.3% of the women having clinic and hospital abortions were between 20 to 29 years of       age and 24.5% were 30-39 years of age at the time of their abortion. **Almost 8 of induced abortions were performed in clinics (46,348).
  2. 52% of induced abortions were performed in hospitals (50,467).
  3. 31.7 % of the women had undergone at least one previous abortion.**
  4. 16.6 % of women having clinic and hospital abortions were between 10 and 19 years of age.**
  5. Marital status at the time of the abortion procedure is no longer listed in the Selected Demographics and Medical Statistics tables of Statistics Canada.
  6. 53.1% of women undergoing an abortion in Canada had no other children.**
  7. Perhaps the most startling statistic is that women who have had previous deliveries account for a growing proportion of abortions: 42.0 % in 2005.**

**These combined figures are taken from detailed records in the database for abortions done in 2005 in Canadian clinics and hospitals. These figures represent only 42% of the total records in the database (96,815) falling short of the information necessary to provide an accurate profiling of the 96,815 women who had abortions in 2005. There is no data for abortions done in the U.S.

Percentage of abortions byselected characteristics

   Hospital Abortions ++Clinic Abortions Hospital and Clinic Abortions
Total records in Database 50,467 46,348 96,815
Total Detailed Records 34,425     6,905 41,330

 

(basis for percentage distribution) %  distribution % distribution % distribution
Gestation Period      
Under 9 weeks  30.3 40.7 32.1
9-12 weeks 40.9 41.6 41.0
13 - 16 weeks 6.2 12.4 7.3
Over 16 weeks 4.7 5.1 4.8
Unknown 17.8 0.1 14.9

Database includes abortions performed in Canada on Canadian residents only. Only Alberta clinics responded. N.B.: Percentage distribution is based on detailed records only.

In an effort to put a human face on the percentages quoted in the table, consider the combined known figures for abortions performed in hospitals and clinics at 9-12 weeks gestation . At 41% distribution this represents at least 16,945 babies dead by clinic and hospital abortions.

COMPLICATIONS:  First, second and third immediate complications only are reported in the survey  (hemorrhage, infection, pelvic damage, retained products of conception, death or ‘other’). At least 372 women were reported to have sustained complications: of these, 372 women had “retained products of conception”.

The provinces with the highest number of abortions are: Ontario (33,546), Québec (29,259), British Columbia (14,444), Alberta (10,859).

HISTORICAL NOTES:

Before 1969 the law permitted abortion only when necessary to preserve the life of the mother.  The law was amended on May 14, 1969 to allow abortion in cases where “thecontinuation of the pregnancy...would be likely to endanger the life or health of the mother”.  The word “health” was never defined.  Abortions were to be performed in accredited hospitals with the approval of a therapeutic abortion committee of 3 doctors. On January 28, 1988 the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the 1969 law, (Section 251 of the Criminal Code) for procedural reasons related to Section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. There is no cut-off point in pregnancy after which abortions may not be performed. This means that the child in the womb can be aborted in hospitals and clinics at any time, by any means, for any reason, right up to and during birth with impunity.

  • Pregnancy is not a disease; however, abortion is a frequently performed surgical procedure in Canada. 
  • Abortion is elective surgery, which does not cure any medical condition.
  • The leading cause of death in Canada is induced abortion...96,815 babies dead by induced abortion in 2005.

  BETWEEN1970 AND 2005 CANADA HAS SANCTIONED THE DEATHS OF 2,880,167 BABIES AWAITING BIRTH.

For further information on induced abortion statistics, please contact Action Life (Ottawa) Inc at 309-376 Churchill Avenue North, Ottawa, ON K1Z3C5. Phone 1-613-798-494, Fax 1-613-798-4496

Published in Statistics