Getting pregnant is good news to most; but not to some.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 49% of pregnancies in the United States are unintended. Out of these unintended pregnancies, a number of them would want to go through the process of abortion.
The reasons may be varied – it could be a bad relationship with the biological father, it could be because the mother is financially incapable of raising kids, or the mother may be too young, or it could also be fear of disruption of school. Whatever the reason may be, some women would resort to aborting the baby of an unintended pregnancy.
Average Cost of Abortion
Abortion costs, on the average, would be anywhere from $350 to $2,000. It would depend mostly on how far into the pregnancy you already are. For example, A Tidewater Women’s Health Clinic in Norfolk, VA would charge patients $350 for a surgical abortion at 11 weeks’ gestation. The same clinic published their costs to be at $600 if the pregnancy is already well into its 13th week.
A medication abortion (a.k.a. the abortion pill) would cost you anywhere from about $390 to around $650. An in-clinic abortion (surgical method), on the other hand, could also cost you from around $390 to as much as $1,850 or even $2,000.
While costs could be that high in some clinics, other organizations like Planned Parenthood and Carafem offer low-cost abortion procedures, in which prices would play around $300 or so.
According to the National Abortion Federation (NAF), almost two-thirds of insurance companies cover elective abortion to some degree. This is contrary to the belief of many women about abortion procedures not being covered by insurance companies. Because of this, most women often have a higher average price of non-insuranced abortion. Before getting an abortion, you may want to talk to your insurance provider first to find out whether they cover the procedures or not.
What is Included
A medication abortion usually takes a few hours. The medical staff would discuss with you your options for abortion. In certain cases, they may also be doing some tests to determine the gestation age.
Medication abortion is a combination of the medicines Mifepristone and Prostaglandin. One tablet is taken in the clinic, while a follow-up tablet is taken a day or two later (depending on doctor’s prescription).
You also get to sign forms at the clinic before you are asked to go home. A follow-up consultation should also be done two to four weeks after the second dosage just to make sure the abortion is complete.
After taking the pills, you will be experiencing cramps and bleeding so get your maxi pads ready. You may also make use of a warm bottle that can be placed on your stomach for cramps. Medication like ibuprofen can be used to alleviate the pain. For many women, it would feel like strong period cramps so prepare a day or two taking your rest.
In-clinic abortions start with the doctor discussing with you your abortion options. In some states, they require the patient to have this discussion on a separate visit. You will be signing forms before the procedure and will be examined to determine existing conditions and how far you are with your pregnancy.
The in-clinic itself only takes about 10 minutes. A method called suction abortion is the most common which involves the application of gentle suction to empty the uterus. This is applicable for first trimester pregnancies. If you are way beyond your first trimester, you may go for a Dilation and Evacuation (D&E) procedure which takes a little bit longer than the suction abortion. You will then be asked to wait for a while until you are ready to drive home.
In certain instances, a twilight anesthesia makes your average price of non-insuranced abortion higher than usual. The twilight anesthesia aims to make you more comfortable and minimize pain during the operation.
In the case of A Tidewater Women’s Health Clinic in Norfolk, VA, a local anesthesia costs $350 while a twilight anesthesia’s price is $425. The same is true for Potomac Family Planning Center, a clinic with locations across Maryland, whose local anesthesia is priced at $390 and a twilight anesthesia is at $450.
Depending on the brand of the ibuprofen, prepare to shell out around $5 to $15 to help you with the pain after the procedures. Remember that in dealing with the pain after the abortion, you are NOT to take aspirin as it results in more bleeding.
Maxi pads would cost you about $11 to $20 per pack. There are also other brands that would cost you around $4 to $7.
Shopping for Abortion
The National Abortion Federation has a clinic locator that is easy to use. You click on your location on a map and you are shown the clinics in your state that does abortion procedures.
When getting an abortion, Planned Parenthood warns women of crisis pregnancy centers which appear to be medical clinics but would talk you, or even scare you out of getting an abortion.
If you are from the states of Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, or New York, you can get to have your abortion pills mailed to you through the TelAbortion study.
Factors Affecting Cost of Abortion
Abortions done in the second trimester are more expensive than when they are done during your first trimester.
For example, Family Planning Specialists Group in Oakland, CA would charge you $475 for an abortion during the first trimester. A second-trimester abortion in the same clinic would be charged $750 if you are on your 12th to 14th week, and $2,000 if you are on your 21st week.
On the same note, a clinic in Englewood, CO named Healthy Futures for Women charges $390 for medication abortion for women who are on their 9th week. As the weeks of pregnancy add up, the prices also increase. The same type of abortion for an 18-week pregnant woman already costs $1,800 which more than tripled from when the gestation age is just at 9 weeks.
As mentioned earlier, two-thirds of the insurance providers cover abortion to some degree. Common reasons for abortion that are covered by insurance would be if the pregnancy is caused by incest or rape, or if the pregnancy poses a grave threat to the health and life of the mother. If you are without insurance, prepare to pay anywhere from $350 to $2,000.
Financial assistance is usually given to women who, because of financial challenges, find it difficult to pay for the abortion procedures. Healthy Futures for Women in CO provides such financial assistance if you inform them of such need.
The Charleston Medical Center in SC also provides a $25-discount for current students with ID, Medicaid, or Military ID. If you have traveled for more than 50 miles just to get to this clinic, you also get the same amount of discount.
Contrary to popular belief, abortion does not cause breast cancer. You can also get pregnant even after your last abortion.
Organizations like All Options provide emotional support for women who have just ended their pregnancies.