The decision to have an abortion or to have a child is one that has life altering significance, and should only be made with full knowledge and understanding of all of your options and all of the potential repercussions of your decision. One very important issue at hand for many women who are facing this choice is the financial cost of having an abortion. In order for you to be able to make a more informed decision, this article will provide you with details regarding the costs of abortion.
FACTORS THAT AFFECT THE COST OF AN ABORTION
There is no one flat set price for abortions. The cost of an abortion can range from several hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars, and depends on certain different variables:
- Type of procedure
- Length of pregnancy
- Use of anesthesia
- Geographical location
TYPE OF PROCEDURE
Abortions can be performed either surgically or chemically, and either method can only safely be performed in a clinic. There is no safe at-home method to end an unwanted pregnancy. Surgically there are several different methods of terminating a pregnancy. Your physician can discuss with you the most suitable method for your unique situation. Chemical termination can be induced with the RU-486 “abortion pill” up until the 49th day of pregnancy (7 weeks). Emergency contraception pills such as Plan B and Next Choice are not chemical abortions, but instead work to prevent pregnancy within the first 72 hours of unprotected sex.
Comparing the cost of surgical abortion to the cost of chemical abortion:
You may think that taking the abortion pill would be less expensive than having a surgical abortion, and as the price of RU-486 lowers over time this may become true. However, the average cost of a first-trimester surgical abortion is $405, while the cost for the “abortion pill” termination totals an average of $520.
- 1st Trimester Surgical Abortion: $405
- RU-486 abortion up to 7 weeks: $520
There are two basic reasons why the chemical abortion is actually $115 more expensive than a surgical abortion. First, RU-486 is still a very new drug and very expensive. As this pill becomes more readily available and when the patent expires allowing for a generic version, it will probably decrease in price. Second, a chemical abortion actually requires three separate clinic visits. A physician can’t just send you home with a prescription, because the pill must be administered in the doctor’s office, and then a second visit is required for a follow-up pill and a third visit to confirm that the pregnancy has in fact terminated. (It is 92% effective, but if not, a surgical abortion must be performed.)
LENGTH OF PREGNANCY:
The type of surgical abortion that can be used to terminate a pregnancy depends greatly upon the duration of the pregnancy. Chemical abortion can only be used up until the 49th day. However, surgical abortions can be performed up to 16 weeks and the cost is based upon the type of surgical abortion that can be performed according to the length of time you have been pregnant.
- 1st Trimester Surgical Abortion: $405
- Surgical Abortion at 13-14 weeks: $495
- Surgical Abortion at 15-16 weeks: $640
Later term abortions are more likely to require the administration of anesthesia during the procedure, which will increase the cost significantly.
The cost of living varies state by state and will affect the cost of any type of health care procedure in the area, including abortion. Additionally, laws on insurance coverage also vary by state.
DOES HEALTH INSURANCE COVER THE COST OF ABORTION?
Most private health insurance plans (87%) will cover the majority of abortion costs. However, only 46% of federal government public health insurance programs will pay for an abortion. Medicaid will pay the full cost of an abortion for income-qualified women in 15 states, which are listed here:
*Alaska, *California, *Connecticut, *Hawaii, *Maryland, *Massachusetts, *Minnesota, *Montana, *New Jersey, *New Mexico, *New York, *Oregon, *Vermont, *Washington, *West Virginia
ASSISTANCE WITH ABORTION COSTS
There are private abortion funds in every state that are on hand to assist women who can’t afford to pay for an abortion, and many clinics offer discounts for low-income clients.