If you’re considering an abortion, you’re probably wondering, How much is an abortion? Of all the complex factors that prevent women from accessing their constitutional right to an abortion, it seems like the price of the procedure should be one of the easiest things to understand, but even that can be tricky.
The cost of an abortion depends on a variety of circumstances, including how far along a woman is in her pregnancy, as well as where she lives, her insurance, and what type of abortion is performed: a surgical abortion or medication abortion (more on those in a minute). Here’s how to understand abortion costs.
How much is an abortion?
During the first trimester, surgical abortions use gentle suction to remove a pregnancy from the uterus. (This is also called a vacuum aspiration or an aspiration abortion.) The in-clinic procedure can cost up to $1,500 without any insurance coverage.
Later in pregnancy, the medical standard for abortion care is a surgical abortion utilizing a procedure called dilation and evacuation, or D&E, which can be more expensive. Where you get a surgical abortion is also a major factor, as hospitals tend to cost more than a clinic.
Medication Abortion (a.k.a. “The Abortion Pill”)
The second type of abortion is a medication abortion (which is not the same as the morning-after pill). This type of abortion uses a combination of two pills (mifepristone and misoprostol) to stop the growth of the pregnancy and then trigger the emptying of your uterus. The abortion pill can be taken during the first ten weeks of pregnancy.
How much does an abortion pill cost?
On average, women pay $504 for an early medication abortion, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
Where can you get an abortion pill?
The two medications needed for a medication abortion are distributed in abortion clinics, certain Planned Parenthood health centers, and select doctors’ offices. You cannot get an abortion pill over the counter.
Does insurance cover abortion costs?
Yes, but it depends on your coverage. Some insurance companies cover elective abortion at least in part if your abortion is performed by a physician who is in-network for your insurance. But coverage is increasingly under threat. Since 2010 26 states now restrict abortion coverage in plans offered through the insurance exchange, 22 states restrict abortion coverage in insurance plans for public employees, and 11 states have laws limiting insurance coverage of abortion in all private insurance plans, including those that are offered through the health insurance exchanges that were established under the federal health care reform law.
The best way to figure out whether your insurance will help cover the procedure is to call them directly and ask about the specifics of your plan.
Does Medicaid cover abortion costs?
Medicaid, the insurance program jointly run by the states and the federal government for those below a certain income level, covers abortion only in situations of rape, incest, or life endangerment—and while all states have to accept Medicaid in these circumstances, not all clinics are Medicaid providers.
What does a Planned Parenthood abortion cost?
Planned Parenthood is a clinic, and as such, fees are associated with an abortion. Fees are calculated on an income-based sliding scale, but the group will work with you to find a solution you can afford.
“If you can’t afford an abortion, there are resources to help,” says Raegan McDonald-Mosley, M.D., chief medical officer at Planned Parenthood of Maryland. “The health center staff [at your local Planned Parenthood] will be able to let you know if there are resources available to you. The National Network of Abortion Funds can help fund abortions—they have a network of funds in each state.”