How much do abortions cost?

Written by john hewitt
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How much do abortions cost?
(orionoir, Flickr)

Abortions are low-cost procedures. The earlier that the abortion is conducted in the pregnancy, the less expensive it is. Most women getting abortions pay about £227, although the amount can be significantly lower--and in some cases, free--at low-cost clinics that specialise in providing abortions to women with limited available means.

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Significance

An RU-486 treatment--a chemical abortion that works within the first seven weeks of a pregnancy--is about as expensive as a surgical abortion for the same period of time, but it has a lower risk of complications such as infection and does not require any anaesthesia. The majority of the cost of a surgical abortion comes from the administration of the anesthetic, and not the actual surgical procedure. Most abortion patients pay for the procedure in cash, but in most states, the procedure can be paid for through medical insurance or Medicaid.

Function

Cost should not prevent someone from getting an abortion that they want. Non-profit family organisations such as Planned Parenthood offer subsidised and free abortions to women who lack the means to pay for their own abortion. Some of the most common patients that these clinics take in are young women under 18 who do not have access to incomes of their own and are afraid to speak with their parents about having the procedure.

Features

One method to reduce the cost of a surgical abortion is to request local anesthetic rather than general anaesthesia. While this means that the patient will be awake during the procedure, it reduces both the overall cost and the risk of the operation. Most women going through an abortion with local anaesthesia report pain similar to severe menstrual cramping during the procedure. After the surgery, most patients are able to deal with the pain using over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

Effects

Some insurance companies and individual plans do not cover the cost of an abortion. If there is any uncertainty about whether the company will cover the cost of the procedure, contact an insurance agent to determine whether it is covered. The sooner an abortion procedure is conducted, the less it costs. The cost of an abortion increases by about £65 for every additional week of the pregnancy. Some second-trimester abortions can be as expensive as £1,950.

Potential

There are always options to help finance an abortion. Even if someone lacks insurance, abortion clinics often offer very low cost procedures for women who can prove their limited means. If a clinic offers prices that are too high, they will often be able to refer patients who can't afford it to other clinics that will offer subsidised procedures. Second-trimester abortions increase in both complexity, discomfort, emotional pain and cost. It is far preferable to have the procedure in the first three months of pregnancy.

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