Finding Pro-Choice Pregnancy Supports

Action Canada’s Access Line is a 7-day a week phone and text service run by staff and volunteers who provide compassionate, confidential, and non-judgemental sexual health information, and connect people to sexual health services.

Many of the people who call us want to talk about what options they have about their pregnancy, (abortion, adoption, and prenatal care). Making a decision about being pregnant can feel very big, and callers want information and resources to be able to make a decision that’s right for them. Frequently, lots of people have questions about how to access abortion services.

The thing is, there’s a lot of misinformation out in the world about abortion. This can make it difficult to feel like you’re making a well-informed decision. The Access Line team spends a lot of time addressing the misinformation and disinformation about abortion spread by anti-choice organizations, including by Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs).

What are CPCs?

CPCs are anti-abortion organizations. The centres, most of which are religiously affiliated, can look like a clinic or a community center, and typically offer services like pregnancy tests or sometimes resources like diapers or baby clothes, alongside counseling with an anti-abortion message. Some of them even offer clinical services like free ultrasounds and consultations with medical professionals.  All of them operate with the goal of dissuading and discouraging people from getting abortions.

Why is that bad?

We all need factual information to make decisions about our health and our lives. Because the goal of CPCs is to prevent people from getting abortions, they can use misinformation and disinformation about abortion (and sometimes birth control) to influence people, interfering with your ability to make your own decisions about your pregnancy.

In some cases, they make it harder to get an abortion by wasting a person’s time so much that they’re no longer able to get an abortion if they wanted one*. CPC tactics and materials can range from being reluctant to provide information about abortion, to lying about the process and outcomes of abortion services and sharing stigmatizing statements about people who choose to get an abortion or provide abortion care. This not only creates lots of fear and shame, but it also perpetuates stigma about abortions. Interfering with someone’s access to abortion or shaming them about their decision can cause lifelong negative physical and mental health impacts for people who need those services.

Options and Decision Making

When you are pregnant, you have the right to access factual, compassionate, and non-judgmental information on all options: abortion, adoption, and parenting.

Your health care provider, or those you seek support from, should be open to discussing all options. They should not pressure you to make a specific decision based on their own values.

There are a lot of factors that go into deciding what you want to do about your pregnancy. You might consider your life goals, thinking about things like your education plans, careers, or the kind of family you might want to build. The decision could be influenced by your personal values or faith. Or you may factor in your current financial situations or the needs of children you already have. It can be a combination of many factors that lead you to your choice, or just one thing. Ultimately you are the only person who is an expert on what those things look like in your life. And you are the only person who knows best how choosing a particular pregnancy outcome will fit into your life. If a person or group is limiting your access to accurate information, they are restricting your ability to have all the pieces you need to make the choice that is right for you.

How do you find a legitimate health care or social services provider? 

Here are some places you can trying going to if you’re pregnant, or think you’re pregnant, and are looking for support:

  • Do you have a Family Doctor? Often, they can provide pregnancy tests, discuss options, or make referrals to other service providers in your community. The same goes for many walk-in clinics, though experiences may vary.
  • Your city or town’s regional health department should be able to connect you to reputable clinics and providers in your community. They should also have information for local community health centres, which can provide most basic services and make referrals. You can check their website for more information.
  • Sexual Health Clinics offer many of the same services as family doctors or walk-in clinics. However, because their full-time focus is sexual health, they may have more immediate answers or supports for your concerns. Check out Action Canada’s directory to find sexual health services near you.
  • If you’re just looking to talk, there are different pro-choice Health Information Services you can contact to get questions answered. This could include:
    • The Access Line provides compassionate, confidential, and non-judgemental sexual health information and service connections, including abortion services. (18886422725, toll-free, or text 613-800-6757, or email)
    • National Abortion Hotline ( provides accurate information, confidential consultation, and referrals to quality abortion care (1-800-772-9100, or chat online).
    • Sex Sense ( provides pro-choice, sex-positive, and confidential information and resources. (1-800-739-7367, toll-free for callers within BC and YK, or by email).
    • Teen Health Source ( provides non-judgmental, sex-positive, pro-choice, and inclusive information for and by peer educators. (See website for phone, text, email, and online chat)
    • All-Options ( provides non-judgmental peer support for decisions/feelings/experiences around pregnancy (1-888-493-0092, toll-free).
    • Faith Aloud ( provides non-judgmental support for pregnancy options from trained clergy & religious counselors (1-888-717-5010, toll-free).

What’s the difference between Medical Clinics and CPCs

CPCs often model their look and language in a way that makes them seem like legitimate clinics or health care providers, even though they are not. Some offer social services or resources that people need but with strings attached. Here are some things to check to understand an organization's true intent:


  Medical Clinics Crisis Pregnancy Centres

  • Provide information on all pregnancy options (Abortion, Adoption, Parenting)
  • Information is often sourced from medical research and training
  • Information is provided to answer your questions and needs
  • Provide information mainly on Adoption and Parenting
  • Information is often biased, incomplete, incorrect, and/or not based on reputable science
  • Information is provided to encourage you away from abortion
  • Can share myths about the risks of abortion procedures **
  • Stigmatizing language (e.g., “killing a baby”) can be used to elicit emotional responses, shame, or fear

  • Pregnancy Tests (in-clinic or take-home)
  • Ultrasounds
  • Make a Diagnosis
  • Prescribe Medication
  • Provide prenatal care
  • Case Management
  • Counselling from certified mental health professionals
  • Peer support counselling
  • Pregnancy Tests (in-clinic)
  • Ultrasounds (rarely)
  • Peer support counselling

  • Provide referrals to services you request
  • Can provide referrals over the phone
  • Often does not provide referrals
  • Often only provides referrals within their own networks
  • Often only provides referrals if you come in for a consultation

  • Provide abortion services
  • Provide abortion referrals
  • Provide abortion aftercare
  • Provides post-abortion counselling and support
  • Does not provide abortion services
  • Does not provide abortion referrals
  • Provides post-abortion counselling ***

Birth Control
  • Provides information on all forms of birth control
  • Free condoms (often)
  • Can prescribe hormonal and non-hormonal birth control
  • Can perform insertion/removals for IUDs and implants
  • Encourages you to choose which method is right for you
  • Might only provide information on behavioural contraception, like Fertility Awareness Methods or the Rhythm Method
  • Might discourage you from using birth control in general



Updated on 2024-04-02
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