The provincial government says it will not be taking steps to limit access to abortion, contrary to a published report.

In Le Devoir on Wednesday, a report said the regulations included in Bill 20's reform of healthcare in Quebec would scale back the number of abortions that a doctor could perform each year.

According to that report, doctors would be limited to 504 procedures annually.

But on Wednesday morning Health Minister Gaetan Barrette said that was completely wrong, and that full-time MDs would have no limit to the number of abortions they were allowed to perform.

He did specify that part-time 'family planning' MDs would be limited to 1,008 abortions per year.

Later on in the day, during question period, Premier Philippe Couillard said, "we will not limit directly or indirectly access to abortion."

Barrette did add that under Bill 20, abortion will no longer be considered a mandatory service.

"Our analysis today is such that there will be an actual increase of services in that field with bill 20. If, if and only if I were to see the access as to be reduced, was seen to be decreasing, I would put it back on that mandatory services to be provided," said Barrette

Opposition parties are not pleased with this reasoning, and say they would prefer to see the figures in black and white, instead of being subject to ministerial fiat.

But Couillard told the National Assembly that Bill 20 would actually increase access to health services, including abortion.

"There is absolutely no question of limiting in any way -- directly or indirectly -- access by Quebec women to abortions," the premier said. "It's the result of a long battle, it's a part of our society that we will not change."

A Montreal women's health centre said it interpreted a draft regulation in the bill to mean that Health Minister Gaetan Barrette intends to limit the number of abortions practised by Quebec doctors.

But Barrette told reporters that was an erroneous interpretation and that access to abortion will not be restricted.

Couillard also pointed out that the regulation would be the subject of consultations and people will have a chance to voice their opinion.

There were 25,899 abortions in Quebec in 2011-2012.

-With a file from The Canadian Press