Since 1988 there have been no laws in Canada restricting abortion.
In 1969 the Liberal government permitted abortion under certain circumstances. Abortions were to be provided only in a hospital if a committee of doctors decided that continuing the pregnancy might endanger the mother's life or health.
In 1982, Canada enacted the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Any law found contravening those rights could be struck down as invalid.
In 1988, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down Canada's abortion law as unconstitutional. The law was found to violate Section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms because it infringed upon a woman's right to "life, liberty and security of person."
Chief Justice Brian Dickson wrote: "Forcing a woman, by threat of criminal sanction to carry a foetus to term unless she meets certain criteria unrelated to her own priorities and aspirations, is a profound interference with a woman's body and thus a violation of her security of the person."
Canada became one of a small number of countries without a law restricting abortion. Abortion was now treated like any other medical procedure and was governed by provincial and medical regulations.
In 1989, the Supreme Court ruled that a father has no legal right to veto a woman's abortion decision. The ruling came after the boyfriend of Chantal Daigle obtained a court injunction preventing her from getting an abortion. By the time the case was settled, Daigle had secretly obtained an abortion in the U.S.
In 1990, the federal government, led by Progressive Conservative Brian Mulroney, introduced Bill C-43, which would sentence doctors to two years in jail for providing abortions where a woman's health was not at risk. The bill was passed by the House of Commons, but died in the Senate after a tie vote.
In 1995, provincial and federal rulings forced Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to allow private abortion clinics. Despite that, access to abortions outside hospitals continued to be inconsistent across the country. Some provinces and territories decided to cover the cost of abortions provided in clinics outside hospitals. Others didn't, meaning that women who couldn't get into a hospital for an abortion had to pay the costs of a clinic abortion out of their own pockets.
> Read a more detailed History of Abortion in Canada