Abortion – a guide for women and trans guys living with HIV in Toronto
On this page you will find basic information about accessing abortions in Toronto. The information is specific to women and trans guys living with HIV. Attached at the bottom of the page is a print version of the document, which is formatted as a pamphlet.
Who gets abortions in Ontario?
In Ontario there are roughly 39,000 abortions each year. People can access abortion services regardless of age, although certain clinics require a guardian to attend if you are under 16 years old. Having an abortion is widely considered a common experience for people living in Canada.
Is abortion safe for HIV+ women?
Both surgical (using suction) and medical (induced via taking medicine) abortions are safe for women living with HIV. Women living with HIV are at slightly higher risk of infection, sepsis, hemorrhage and anemia, especially with certain antiretroviral medications, and may be less able to combat infections.
Abortions should not impact your HIV treatment or
CD4 counts in any noticeable way, but it’s good to talk to the doctor about any possible impacts on your viral load. If you can’t speak to the doctor, try calling the City of Toronto’s AIDS and Sexual Health Infoline at 1-800-668-2437.
Both women and trans guys living with HIV have the right to not disclose your HIV status to administrative staff, but it can be a good idea to tell the doctor in order to receive the best care possible.
Is abortion safe for HIV+ trans guys?
Accessing abortion services as a trans guy can be challenging – many clinics have only recently started offering the procedure. It’s a good idea to bring a friend, talk with another trans guy and/or have some support during the process.
There is no interactions between hormone therapy for trans men & abortion, as the majority of abortions are done surgically and not medically. If you are more comfortable with a medical abortion, be sure to consult with the doctor about how the procedure could impact your use of hormones (it usually doesn’t).
Why are some abortions free and others cost money?
OHIP is the public health insurance plan in Ontario, meaning that if you have an Ontario health card, you have access to services paid for by OHIP. Abortion services are fully covered in hospitals by OHIP. However, clinics that provide abortions may charge administrative fees or extra fees for medication, even if you have OHIP. They also can charge a higher fee if the abortion is performed later in the pregnancy.
What about after an abortion?
There is no obligation to have a post-procedure visit, however all abortion providers do recommend a follow-up visit within 2–3 weeks after for a general check-up and interior ultrasound. Your menstrual cycle should restart 4–8 weeks after the abortion.
It is your choice as to whether or not you wish to disclose that you had an abortion to your primary care physician or HIV specialist.
Abortion Clinics in Toronto
|Bay Centre for Birth Control|
(Women’s College Hospital)
up to 14 weeks
|76 Grenville Street|
|Bloor West Village Women’s Clinic|
(cash or debit)
up to 14 weeks
|2425 Bloor Street West|
|Cabbage Town Women’s Clinic free|
if under 12 weeks
$500, after that up to $2,107 (cash)
under 12 weeks
|302 Gerrard Street East|
|Choice in Health Clinic|
up to 15 weeks
|1678 Bloor Street West, Suite 301|
|The Morgentaler Clinic|
if under 11 weeks
$500, after that up
to $9000 (cash or debit)
5 to 19 weeks
|Women’s Care Clinic|
(cash or debit)
4 to 19 weeks
|960 Lawrence Avenue West|
Bay Centre for Birth Control
Sometimes up to two-week waiting list. Requires one day for assessment and then one week later the procedure is done. They also offer birth control options and emergency contraceptives, as well as access to a social worker.
Bloor West Village Women’s Clinic
Two weeks after the abortion the clinic offers an STI test for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. They accept trans guys but most often refer to trans guys to Choice in Health Clinic.
Cabbage Town Women’s Clinic
Only performs surgical abortions. Considers trans guys seeking abortions as high risk patients, and will refer to hospitals. Patients under 16 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Patients living with HIV are required to have a letter from their doctor about their medical history. The only doctor here is male.
Choice in Health Clinic
The clinic has a trans inclusive policy. The clinic is a nonprofit with all women staff, and there is no need for HIV disclosure at any point in the process.
The Morgentaler Clinic
HIV-positive patients must already be on HIV treatment to get an abortion. If not, the clinic will connect patients to HIV services. If OHIP lists you as male then you have to pay out of pocket, but the clinic will help with finding financial resources. Every patient will be asked to disclose any surgeries of hormone therapy. For people under 30 and without OHIP, Planned Parenthood can help pay. The wait list is generally less than one week.
Women’s Care Clinic
They accept women living with HIV and trans guys as long as patients have not previously had a Cesarean Section (C-Section).
For more information on abortions, including the different kinds offered in Toronto:
National Abortion Federation
Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights
(24 hour hotline to help you find nearest abortion provider)
For more information about this resource and any feedback, please contact either:
Zahra Mahommadi Bolouk
Women's Community Development Worker
firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-340-8484 ext. 276
email@example.com or 416-340-8484 ext. 225