Safe and effective FDA-approved abortion pills (aka medication abortion) are now available by mail in several states — without an in-person clinic visit.
Published: Mar 8, 2021
At Home Medication Abortion Care Is…
- Safer than Tylenol
- Now available without a clinic visit
- Available by mail in just a few days
There are several states with US based clinicians who’ll deliver pills. This might not last, so read up while you can! Learn more
Find Abortion Pills Through Licensed Providers
There are several states with US-based clinicians who currently prescribe and mail FDA-approved abortion pills following an online or phone consultation. Our partners at PlanCpills.org have compiled this guide to finding providers based on where you live.
What exactly are abortion pills?
Abortion pills, also called medication abortion, can be used to end a pregnancy up to 10 weeks from the first day of your last period. The most effective process involves taking two different FDA-approved medications: mifepristone and misoprostol.
How much do abortion pills cost?
Abortion pills can cost anywhere from $40 to $600. Many services accept private insurance and some states permit the use of Medicaid. Many services also offer discounts to those who can’t pay. Check with your local provider or preferred online service for more precise explanation of costs.
How safe are abortion pills?
Medication abortion is so safe that it could be sold over-the-counter (OTC) without a prescription if not for political considerations. Fewer than 4 people out of 1,000 will have serious complications requiring hospitalization, infusion, or surgery. To put that into perspective, acetaminophen (Tylenol), is the foremost cause of acute liver failure in the U.S., sometimes accounting for nearly 25% of emergency department visits per year.
- There is no legal risk to people who get abortion pills from a health care provider who is licensed to provide services in the United States and take those pills as instructed by the provider.
- There may be legal risk when people find and use the pills on their own, without a prescription from a licensed health care provider or with a prescription from a provider who is not licensed in the United States. This risk may vary by state.
On April 12, 2021 the FDA announced that, effective immediately, both medication abortion and miscarriage patients are able to access mifepristone via delivery from their providers or through mail-order pharmacies. While individual states may still impose restrictions, the FDA will no longer require patients to travel far from home or risk exposure to COVID-19 just to access safe and effective abortion care.
No. The morning-after pill is a form of emergency contraception (aka birth control) taken within a few days of unprotected sex in order to prevent a pregnancy. If you are already pregnant, emergency contraception will NOT induce an abortion.
FDA-approved abortion pills work by inducing a miscarriage. From your body’s perspective, a medication abortion and a spontaneously occurring miscarriage are the same physical process (though the emotional experiences may be very different.) The physical process, risks, warning signs, potential complications, and treatments are the same. Further, there is no test to determine if you have taken abortion pills. If you aren’t comfortable telling a medical provider that you’ve had a medication abortion instead of a spontaneous miscarriage, it is not necessary to do so. Your body won’t give you away.
The most effective way to induce an abortion with FDA-approved abortion pills (99% effective) is:
- Step 1: swallow a 200 mg tablet of mifepristone with a glass of water to block the hormone progesterone, which helps line the uterus during pregnancy.
- Step 2: up to 48 hours later, take an 800 mcg dose of misoprostol to increase uterine contractions. Misoprostol can be taken by holding the pills in your mouth or your vagina and allowing them to dissolve, so it’s important to follow the instructions that come with the pills.
When taken this way, the two medications prompt your body to initiate a miscarriage that is physically indistinguishable from a spontaneously occurring one.
You will experience:
- Bleeding or spotting that can last for several days and may be heavier than a normal period.
- Cramping (uterine contractions) and abdominal pain within a few hours of taking misoprostol.
You MAY experience:
- Nausea, diarrhea, hot flashes, slight dizziness, and/or mild fever
- You may see blood clots or tissue that looks gray
Other things to note:
- Avoid putting anything in your vagina (tampons, fingers, sex toys, penises — anything!) for up to 2 weeks to help prevent infection.
- Wait at least 2 weeks after an abortion before taking a pregnancy test to avoid a false positive.
- Your first menstrual cycle will return in 4 – 8 weeks and could be heavier than normal
- You could ovulate within 1 – 2 weeks after an early pregnancy ends — before your period returns!
Seek help if you experience any of the following rare complications:
- Foul-smelling discharge
- Fever lasting longer than 24 hours or higher than 102.2F
- Very heavy bleeding, severe pain, or nausea/vomiting that lasts longer than 24 hours
- Increased bleeding or blood that is bright red
Persistent cramping or pain that cannot be relieved through over-the-counter medication.
How much does an abortion cost at carafem?
At carafem, an abortion costs between $250 and $700 depending on the method you choose and whether you prefer at-home care with a video visit or going into a health center.
: Abortion Pill $475, In-office carafem procedure $550 : Abortion Pill $450, In-office carafem procedure $550 : Abortion Pill $475, In-office carafem procedure $550 : Abortion Pill $600, In-office carafem procedure $700 At Home Abortion Pills $250-375
carafem offers two different types of abortion; the abortion pill and the carafem procedure. You can visit this page to check your eligibility and read more about each type. Most carafem locations provide abortion care up to 13 weeks.
Note: the abortion pill is available at carafem up to 11 weeks and the carafem procedure is available up to about 13 weeks depending on your location.
How much does an abortion cost in the US?
According to the Guttmacher Institute, the average cost of an abortion in the US when performed in the first trimester is over $500. This cost varies and is often higher in states where abortion is more heavily restricted than in states with more access to abortion.
Other factors that influence price include insurance coverage, type of pain medication used, and the need for any additional lab testing. carafem simplifies this by providing clear and transparent pricing on our abortion costs page.
Will insurance cover my abortion?
Like many other medical services in the US, insurance coverage for abortion care is complicated and varies by policy and provider. carafem accepts most insurance providers for in-office care dependent on your location. Insurance companies are not yet covering telehealth abortion care which we hope to see change over time. Because each insurance company offers different plans, and benefits vary from plan to plan, please make sure you have talked to our staff about any insurance related questions at least 24 hours before your appointment by calling us at (855) SAY-CARA.
Our team will help confirm how much will be covered by your insurance and what will need to be paid out of pocket. We can also help you file private insurance. If you do not have medical insurance, you will be offered the opportunity to apply for discounts on the cost of service.
Is abortion covered by medicaid?
Medicaid covers abortion care in select states. carafem accepts medicaid in our Maryland and Illinois locations for in-center care. Medicaid is not yet covering telehealth abortion care. Please call us at (855) Say-Cara at least 24 hours before your appointment to go over your insurance coverage and determine any out-of-pocket costs.
Is there any other financial assistance for those without insurance or medicaid, or in places where insurance and medicaid are not accepted?
Yes! Financial assistance may be available for those who qualify for most types of care. Please give us a call at (855) Say-Cara at least 24 hours before your appointment to discuss financial assistance.
How can I get Abortion Pills By Mail?
carafem offers abortion pill care via video visits in select states. If you have a mailing address in one of the following states, you may be eligible for abortion pill medication, delivered discreetly within 2-4 business days of your video visit with a trusted medical provider.
- District of Columbia
- New Jersey
Costs range between $250-375. We are unable to take insurance or Medicaid for abortion pills by mail at this time. You will have a chance to talk about your options and decide what’s best for you during your video visit.
How does an abortion pill appointment work?
The abortion pill is actually a combination of what is usually two kinds of pills (mifepristone and misoprostol) that are taken in sequence. In the U.S. these are most often used before 11 weeks of pregnancy.
The first pill, mifepristone, blocks a hormone necessary for a pregnancy to continue to develop. Most people swallow this first pill in our office. A small number of people see some vaginal bleeding after taking mifepristone, but it’s not common.
The second pill, misoprostol, causes cramping and bleeding from the vagina so that the pregnancy will leave your body (similar to a miscarriage). It is usually taken at home within 72 hours after taking the first pill.
While they are incredibly safe, these pills are not available through pharmacies just yet and they are different from birth control pills or emergency contraception pills (Plan B), so if you have any questions, please call us at (855) SAY-CARA. Learn more about if the abortion pill is right for you, and what to expect in this helpful video.
What happens during an abortion procedure aka the carafem procedure?
The carafem procedure is a safe and effective method of early abortion. This process is also known as “aspiration abortion” or “surgical abortion” – even though there is no surgery involved. We know it is one of the safest and effective methods of abortion around the world.
Performed in our private office, the process takes about 2-7 minutes — about the same amount of time as a regular pap smear. Your physician will use a small, quiet handheld aspiration device that will quickly and gently remove the contents of your uterus, similar to releasing your period all at once. A caring staff person will focus on your comfort by offering to play soft music and providing a warming heat pad to ease cramping.
Reproductive Health Care Information You Can Trust
carafem medical standards and guidelines have been composed and approved by Board-certified Ob/Gyn Physicians as part of the carafem medical committee. carafem is a member in good standing of the National Abortion Federation. Still have questions? Check out our FAQ page, or call us at (877) 708-1364, or find a location near you.
Schedule a Video Visit
It looks like you aren’t near one of our health centers, but you can receive medically supported at home abortion pills in select states.
Women in the United States haven’t always had the right to an abortion. Before 1973, individual states were allowed to decide whether abortion would be legal within their borders.
So how did abortion become legal? In a landmark decision, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that the right to an abortion was part of a woman’s right to privacy.
Roe v. Wade
Federal law has protected a woman’s right to choose an abortion since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision in 1973.
Norma McCorvey, the plaintiff, was an unmarried pregnant Texas woman who sought an abortion, but was denied one under Texas law. She filed a federal lawsuit under the pseudonym "Jane Roe" to have the Texas law declared unconstitutional. Roe argued that a law prohibiting her from obtaining an abortion violated her constitutional right to privacy.
The U.S. Supreme Court, in 7-2 vote, agreed with Roe that Texas’s law criminalizing abortion violated her right to privacy. But the Court held that states do have an interest in ensuring the safety and well-being of pregnant women, as well as the potential of human life.
Acknowledging that the rights of pregnant women may conflict with the rights of the state to protect potential human life, the Court defined the rights of each party by dividing a pregnancy into three 12-week trimesters:
- During a pregnant woman’s first trimester, the Court held, a state cannot regulate abortion beyond requiring that the procedure be performed by a licensed doctor in medically safe conditions.
- During the second trimester, the Court held, a state may regulate abortion if the regulations are reasonably related to the health of the pregnant woman.
- During the third trimester of pregnancy, the state’s interest in protecting the potential human life outweighs the woman’s right to privacy, and the state may prohibit abortions unless abortion is necessary to save the life or health of the mother.
The Court further held that a fetus is not a person protected by the constitution. The decision in Roe v. Wade did not eliminate the controversy surrounding abortion, however. The laws surrounding abortion, ranging from methods, to funding, to parental consent and more, continue to be debated and shaped to this day. The following are a few examples.
Planned Parenthood v. Casey
In 1992, the Supreme Court reaffirmed its position that abortion should be legal in the case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
The case challenged a series of Pennsylvania regulations — ranging from a mandatory waiting period for abortion to a spousal consent provision — which limited a woman’s access to abortion.
Though the Supreme Court upheld most of the Pennsylvania laws, the Court struck down the spousal consent requirement as an "undue burden" on married women seeking abortions.
Gonzales v. Carhart
Most states no longer try to ban abortions. Instead, legislatures tend to limit the time period during which a woman can have an abortion, as well as the procedures used to perform abortions. One common restriction is a limitation on a procedure known as a "partial birth" or late term abortion.
In 2003, Congress passed the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, which prohibited the intact dilation and extraction abortion procedure. The procedure was typically used during the second trimester, sometimes after the point of viability.
In 2007, the Supreme Court’s ruling in Gonzales v. Carhart upheld the ban on partial birth abortion as constitutional, concluding that it did not impose an undue burden on a woman’s right to choose an abortion.
Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt
In 2016, the Supreme Court’s ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt struck down a restrictive Texas law that required all doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their clinic. The law would have also required clinics to meet surgical-center operating standards.
The Supreme Court concluded that the law was unconstitutional and would have resulted in an undue burden on women seeking access to abortions. The ruling will likely affect states that have similar laws either on the books or in the works, including Alabama, Arkansas, and Louisiana.
Seeking Legal Advice on Abortion Laws
If you have questions about the abortion laws in your state, you may wish to speak with a qualified healthcare lawyer today. A skilled attorney will be able to explain the laws of your state and answer questions about the legality of abortion.
Buy Abortion Pill Kit ( Mtp kit in USA ) – https://www.safeabortionpharma.com/
People were not aware of safe abortion methods that could be performed at home during the early 1990s. People were frightened of surgical abortions for a variety of reasons, including the possibility of surgical infection and anesthesia. Mifepristone was developed in the year 1980 for use in conjunction with Misoprostol as a combination of Mtp Abortion Pill kit. From the late 1990s onwards, it was believed that the hassle-free abortion pill was in the hands of the general public. France, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and China legalized the medicine in the early 1990s.
WHAT IS THE COMPOSITION OF A MEDICAL ABORTION PILL?
Abortion pill comes with a combination of two medicines: Mifepristone and Misoprostol. The first medication, Mifepristone, is used to terminate the pregnancy. It works by inhibiting the production of the hormone progesterone. The lining of the uterus begins to break down in the absence of progesterone, and the pregnancy is terminated. Similarly, to a miscarriage, the second medication, misoprostol, causes the womb to contract, resulting in cramping, bleeding, and loss of the pregnancy, all of which are symptoms of pregnancy loss.
ABORTION PILL DOSAGE
The abortion pill package contains one Mifepristone 200mg tablet and four Misoprostol pills, each containing 200 mg of misoprostol. Mifeprex or Mifepristone can be taken orally with water after a meal at the beginning of the treatment. Another tablet of Mifeprex should be taken if the woman was unable to consume the medication successfully and puked out the medication within 12 hours of consumption. After taking the Mifeprex tablet, the woman can begin taking the Misoprostol pill, which is the next course of treatment, within 48 hours. It can be taken orally by placing the pills into the cheek pouch and slowly swallowing them within 30 minutes of eating a meal, or it can be taken vaginally under the supervision of a health-care professional.
HOW DOES MTP ABORTION PILL KIT WORK?
Women who are conceiving an intrauterine pregnancy are the only ones who can benefit from the abortion pill. Extra uterine pregnancy (also known as ectopic pregnancy) should not be terminated by using Abortion pill. Also required is that the pregnancy has not exceeded 70 days, or 8 weeks gestation period, at any point when you decided to abort the child. The first medication used to treat an abortion pill (Mifeprex) worked by inhibiting the function of the progesterone hormone. Progesterone belongs to the steroid hormone class of hormones known as Progestogens. Progesterone increases the thickness of the uterine wall, allowing for proper implantation of the foetus during pregnancy. No changes occur in the uterine wall as a result of which the womb is not capable of accommodating a developing child. There will be no connection established between the mother and the inborn child. Progesterone prepares the body for the task of carrying a pregnancy to term safely. It is possible that a lack of progesterone will cause contractions in the abdomen, as well as abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding, and other consequences.
Abortion pills, in the beginning, interfere with the function of progesterone and destroy the safe barrier that progesterone creates, which allows the woman to carry the pregnancy without difficulty.
Later, the second medicine in an abortion pill (Misoprostol) begins to dilate the cervix, to complete the pregnancy termination procedure. The chemical composition of the Abortion pill causes abdominal pain and causes the uterine walls to contract, which results in an abortion. Mifeprex is used to detach the unwanted foetus from the uterus, and Misoprostol is used to assist the uterus in expulsion of the unwanted tissues, bringing the abortion procedure to a close. The abortion pill works in several ways, starting with preventing the body from carrying the pregnancy all the way through to expelling the unwanted foetus from the body.
ABORTION PILL SIDE EFFECTS
There are numerous most common side effects associated with the use of abortion pills, all of which are listed below. The majority of common side effects are generally mild, and they do not necessitate a visit to the doctor.
These statistics include only surgical and medical abortions. Because many contraceptive measures are abortifacients (drugs that induce or cause abortions), it is important not to overlook the number of children killed by chemical abortions. Since 1965, an average of 11 million women have used abortifacient methods of birth control in the United States at any given time. Using formulas based on the way the birth control pill works, pharmacy experts project that about 14 million chemical abortions occur in the United States each year, providing a projected total of well in excess of 610 million chemical abortions between 1965 and 2009.
When conducting research on abortion statistics, you may also encounter two different sets of numbers. One set is from the Centers for Disease Control, and the other is from the Guttmacher Institute—the “independent research arm” of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
The Guttmacher Institute totals are actually the more accurate since the Institute conducts private research on abortion providers throughout the country and because not all states are required to report to the CDC. In fact, California and New York, where high numbers of abortions occur, are not included in CDC figures.
Planned Parenthood’s income breakdown for the 2019-2020 fiscal year
- PP non-government clinic income: $370.4 million
- PP donations revenue: $510.0 million
- PP government grants and reimbursements: $618.1 million
- Total profit: $69.7 million
- Total income: $1.641 billion
2019-2020 Planned Parenthood service numbers
- Number of abortions (medical and surgical): 354,871
- Total number of abortions per week: 6,824
- Adoption referrals: 2,667
- Ratio of adoption referrals to abortions: 1 per 133
Non-Hispanic Black Abortions by PP
According to the CDC 38% of abortions are done on non-Hispanic Black mothers. Using this data:
- Per year estimate: 134,850
- Per day estimate: 369
- Per hour estimate: 15
2020 PP Annual Survey
- Total PP facilities: 563
- Total PP facilities that perform surgical and medical abortions: 387
- Total affiliates: 49
- Highest number of PP facilities: 938 in 1995
U.S. total females, Age 15-44
(according to 2010 U.S. census)
- Whites: 58.3% (36,399,198)
- Blacks: 14.2% (8,897,793)
- Hispanic or Latino: 19.0% (11,845,024)
- Other: 8.5% (5,303,843)
U.S. women who obtained abortions in 2018
(according to Centers for Disease Control)
- White: 38.7%; 6.3 abortions per 1000 women; 110 abortions per live births
- Black: 33.6%; 21.2 abortions per 1000 women; 335 abortions per live births
- Hispanic: 20%; 10.9 abortions per 1000 women; 158 abortions per live births
- Other: 7.7%; 11.9 abortions per 1000 women; 213 abortions per live births
U.S.women fertility rates per 1 woman
(according to the National Center for Health Statistics)
- 1990: White: 1.85 Black: 2.55 Hispanic: 2.96
- 2010: White: 1.79 Black: 1.97 Hispanic: 2.35
- 2018: White: 1.64 Black: 1.79 Hispanic: 1.96
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Medication abortion — also called the abortion pill — is a safe and effective way to end an early pregnancy.
How does the abortion pill work?
“Abortion pill” is the common name for using two different medicines to end a pregnancy: mifepristone and misoprostol.
First, you take a pill called mifepristone. Pregnancy needs a hormone called progesterone to grow normally. Mifepristone blocks your body’s own progesterone, stopping the pregnancy from growing.
Then you take the second medicine, misoprostol, either right away or up to 48 hours later. This medicine causes cramping and bleeding to empty your uterus . It’s kind of like having a really heavy, crampy period, and the process is very similar to an early miscarriage. If you don’t have any bleeding within 24 hours after taking the second medicine, call your nurse or doctor.
Your doctor or nurse will give you both medicines at the health center. When and where you’ll take them depends on state laws and your health center’s policies. Your doctor or nurse will give you detailed directions about where, when, and how to take the medicines. You may also get some antibiotics to prevent infection.
How effective is the abortion pill?
The abortion pill is very effective. The effectiveness depends on how far along you are in your pregnancy when you take the medicine.
- For people who are 8 weeks pregnant or less, it works about 94-98 out of 100 times.
- For people who are 8-9 weeks pregnant, it works about 94-96 out of 100 times.
- For people who are 9-10 weeks pregnant, it works about 91-93 out of 100 times. If you’re given an extra dose of medicine, it works about 99 out of 100 times.
- For people who are 10-11 weeks pregnant, it works about 87 out of 100 times. If you’re given an extra dose of medicine, it works about 98 out of 100 times.
The abortion pill usually works, but if it doesn’t, you can take more medicine or have an in-clinic abortion to complete the abortion.
When can I take the abortion pill?
Depending on where you live, you may be able to get a medication abortion up to 77 days (11 weeks) after the first day of your last period. If it has been 78 days or more since the first day of your last period, you can have an in-clinic abortion to end your pregnancy.
Why do people choose the abortion pill?
Which kind of abortion you choose all depends on your personal preference and situation. With medication abortion, some people like that you don’t need to have a procedure in a doctor’s office. You can have your medication abortion at home or in another comfortable place that you choose. You get to decide who you want to be with during your abortion, or you can go it alone. Because medication abortion is similar to a miscarriage, many people feel like it’s more “natural” and less invasive.
Your doctor, nurse, or health center staff can help you decide which kind of abortion is best for you.
More questions from patients:
Here’s the deal: The “abortion pill” is the popular name for a safe and effective way to end an early pregnancy using a combination of two medicines: mifepristone and misoprostol. The first medicine (mifepristone) is given at a health center or your health care provider’s office. After taking mifepristone, you take a second medication (misoprostol) at home 6-48 hours later. This causes cramping and bleeding and empties your uterus.
Claims about treatments that reverse the effects of medication abortion are out there, and a handful of states require doctors and nurses to tell their patients about them before they can provide abortion care. But these claims haven’t been proven in reliable medical studies — nor have they been tested for safety, effectiveness, or the likelihood of side effects — so experts like the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists reject these untested supposed treatments.
Studies on the abortion pill do show that if you take the first medicine but not the second, the abortion pill is less likely to work. So if you’ve begun the process of having an abortion using the abortion pill but are having second thoughts, contact the doctor or nurse you saw for the abortion right away to talk about your best next steps and what to expect.
RU-486 is the former name of mifepristone — one of the medications that you take to have a medication abortion. RU-486 is now called “the abortion pill” or “Mifeprex” (the brand name for mifepristone).
RU-486 was developed in the 1980s. It’s been safely used in Europe since 1987, and in the US since 2000.
RU-486 blocks a hormone that your body needs to continue a pregnancy. It works best when you use it with another medication called misoprostol, which causes bleeding to empty your uterus.
The RU-486 abortion pill is a safe and effective way to end an early pregnancy.
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 13 th 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.
A landmark Supreme Court case called Roe v. Wade protects the right to abortion without excessive government interference at the US federal level. But when it comes to state legislature, each jurisdiction has its own set of laws that affect access to abortion services.
Since the appointment of conservative and historically anti-abortion justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, states such as Mississippi have sent abortion rights cases to the highest court in hopes of setting a new precedent for bans and restrictions.
Louisiana and Colorado both posed ballot initiatives concerning abortion rights in the 2020 presidential election, with Louisiana officially amending its state constitution to explicitly not protect abortion and Coloradans declining to pass a ballot measure that would ban abortion after 22 weeks of pregnancy.
Elisabeth Smith, chief counsel of state policy and advocacy at the Center for Reproductive Rights, said although these state laws cannot outright ban abortion while it is protected at the federal level, they can seriously impact access to it.
“Federal law creates a floor that says abortion is a right, and then state law has the potential to either increase access or really prohibit access,” she said.
Here’s a breakdown of how state laws either expand, protect, or restrict access to abortion in the US.
New York, Vermont, Connecticut, California, Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii all have expanded access to abortion
States that not only protect the right to abortion in their constitutions but also have removed barriers to getting a safe and legal abortion are considered expanded access states, according a “What If Roe Fell?” tool published by CRR.
In 2019, New York passed a reproductive health act that protected the right to abortion under state law, ensuring that it would remain so even if Roe v. Wade was overturned. The law also removed abortion from the state penal code and allowed clinicians to perform abortions after 24 or more weeks of pregnancy if the mother’s life is at risk or the fetus is not viable.
“If you look at a state like New York State, that, in state law, protects the right to abortion, allows advanced practice clinicians to provide abortion care, and covers abortion in a Medicaid program, you can see that they’re pretty full access,” Smith said.
Allowing advanced practice clinicians such as physician assistants or nurse midwives to provide abortion care makes the service more widely available compared to states where only physicians have that power. Most expanded access states also require both private insurance and Medicaid to cover the cost of abortion care.
However, some expanded access states — Connecticut, Vermont, Washington, and Oregon — still have TRAP laws, or laws imposed on abortion providers that are not required for other medical providers.
14 other states and the District of Columbia protect the right to abortion
As recently as 2019, states have recognized the right to abortion in laws and court precedents.
Illinois passed comprehensive abortion legislation in 2019, which not only protected the right to abortion but also repealed restrictive laws that required husbands to give consent for their wives and put doctors at risk of criminal penalties.
Even in Kansas, where abortion remains heavily restricted, the state Supreme Court ruled that women have autonomy over decisions that affect their bodies and health. The state maintains a 22-week gestational ban and only allows certain methods of abortion.
Alaska, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, and Rhode Island also protect the right to abortion. Most of the states have imposed some degree of restriction, such as gestational limits or requiring young people to obtain parental consent.
The right to abortion could be at risk in more than half of all US states if Roe v. Wade were overturned
If Roe vs. Wade were challenged or overturned, abortion rights would be protected in less than half of the US states. Not all of these states restrict abortion access, but they all leave reproductive rights vulnerable under a majority-conservative Supreme Court.
New Hampshire, Virginia, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico do not protect abortion rights but are not considered hostile to abortion, according to CRR. Most of these states have some restrictions, such as Virginia’s prohibition of third trimester abortions.
Colorado, however, is one of seven states that do not prohibit abortion at any point during pregnancy. Only one percent of abortions take place after 21 weeks, usually in cases of poor maternal health or an inviable fetus, according to the Guttmacher Institute. But because abortions after that point are so restricted, women from across the country travel to Colorado for later-term abortions.
States in the south and the Rust Belt have historically been hostile toward abortion rights
By regulating who can provide an abortion, when they can do it, and who has to pay for it, many states have established themselves as anti-abortion zones.
Alabama has the most restrictive abortion law in the US, which bans abortion at any stage of pregnancy under any circumstance. District courts ruled the law unconstitutional in 2019, so it is currently on hold.
In the meantime, Alabama maintains medically unnecessary restrictions, including mandatory ultrasounds at abortion appointments and a required 48-hour waiting period before the procedure can take place.
Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Tennessee all have so-called “trigger bans” that could prohibit abortion if Roe falls. However, Smith said the bans likely would not be put in place automatically as the name suggests, and would require some legal proceedings to pass.