Having an abortion is not a decision that is taken lightly by anyone and yet it is a decision that has to be made quickly. Early stage abortions are less invasive and dangerous and up to 10 weeks are legal in every state. However, the longer into the pregnancy a woman has gone the more complicated and costly the procedure becomes.
The cost of abortion is affected by the patient’s location, the type of procedure, the stage of pregnancy, choice of anesthesia and the choice of clinic. Although abortion has been legal in every state since 1973 each state is free to place limits on the availability of the procedure and restrictions regarding financial assistance from Medicaid or private insurance and this has a marked effect on overall price.
Types of Abortion
There are two categories of abortion – surgical and medical. The medical abortion is also known as ‘the abortion pill’ (although the procedure involves more than the ingestion of a single tablet) and the surgical abortion which may utilize one of several options including aspiration and dilation and evacuation (D&E).
The Medical Abortion (RU 486): Average Cost - $300 to $800
The so called abortion pill is actually a course of treatment involving medical consultations and tests such as a sonogram and HCG blood test, followed by ingestion of two different medications: mifepristone and m`isoprostol.
Mifepristoneoriginally called RU 486 and marketed under the name Mifeprex, is one of the medications used to end a pregnancy. With tests to confirm the pregnancy and date of conception, as well as counseling completed, the pregnant woman will be given a mifepristone pill. This synthetic steroid blocks the production of the hormone progesterone causing the lining of the uterus to break up, detaching the fertilized egg.
Within two days, the woman will then be given a Misoprostol pill which is a prostaglandin that will induce uterine contractions and bring about the end of the pregnancy.
Although this treatment has a very high success rate, any physician who prescribes the abortion pill procedure must also be willing to carry out a suction or surgical abortion if the pregnancy was not terminated completely.
This procedure is available up to the 9th week. For more information on the RU 486 Abortion Pill procedure please visit the National Abortion Federation.
The organization Planned Parenthood is a woman’s health advocate which works both to help avoid unplanned pregnancies and enable access to termination services nationwide. Although they do not give specific prices as costs may vary according to consultation, physician’s fees, treatment, tests and location, they advise a ballpark figure for the Abortion Pill of $300 to $800.
The Surgical Abortion: Average Cost: $300 to $2300
The term surgical abortion can cover any of the following methods of pregnancy termination Suction Aspiration, Dilation and Curettage (D & C), Dilation and Evacuation (D & E), Dilation and Extraction (D & X).
The method used will depend on the woman’s stage of pregnancy with the later stage pregnancy being the more complicated, carrying the highest risk factors and also requiring more surgical skill and patient care, thus being also the most expensive. See the examples of costs per clinic, location and procedure for a more detailed breakdown.
Abortion Cost Examples
It can be hard to find verifiable abortion prices as many clinics do not publish fees and require instead that you contact them directly for cost information. However the following cost examples will give you an idea of what is charged for an abortion in specific clinics per location and procedure:
The Family Planning Associates Medical Group can be found in several locations across California. They are one of the very few sites we found that publish information related to late term abortions:
- $525 (Medical abortion)
- $450 (Surgical Abortion up to 13 weeks with general anesthesia)
- $425 (Surgical Abortion up to 13 weeks with local anesthesia)
- $765 (Surgical Abortion 13.5 to 16 weeks)
- $975 (Surgical Abortion 16.5 to 18.0 weeks)
- $1,175 (Surgical Abortion 18.5 to 19.0 weeks
- $2,165 (Surgical Abortion 19.5 to 21.5 weeks)
On their fees page, FPAMG advise that those who are concerned about their ability to pay may be eligible for state-funded financial aid.
Listed Fee: $325
This clinic offers both medical and surgical abortion. Without going into specific detail on their website regarding the actual procedures themselves, they say:
Most of the procedures done in our office cost $325.00. But it might be hundreds of dollars less if you tell us that you need financial assistance, which is available.
- $450 (early abortion – up to 12 weeks)
- $550 (early medical abortion with Mifepriston)
- $600 (D&E abortion – 13-14 weeks)
- $750 (D&E abortion – 15-16 weeks)
The average fee cost is higher at Jackson Womans Health Organization but that is likely due to the fact that this is the only abortion clinic in the state of Mississipi. Even so, for those who need it, JWHO state that financial assistance is available for those who qualify.
The general cost for either a medical or surgical abortion at this center costs $600. The clinic offers a non-profit loan program for those who are in need of a termination but lack the funds to pay at the time of service.
- Medical (Abortion Pill) Method: $600 – available up to 8 weeks
- Vacuum Aspiration Method: $600 –available up to 14 weeks
It can be hard to find verifiable abortion prices as many clinics do not publish fees and require instead that you contact them directly for cost information. Finding reliable abortion price information is further complicated by various pro-life organizations posing as abortion clinics in order to dissuade women from undergoing a termination.
The following links are to pro-choice directories where you can be sure of finding connections to a clinic in your state which you can contact directly for more price information.
Abortion.com: Doctor's offices and facilities offering abortion care
Abortion Clinics Online: Over 400 providers of abortion across the US.
Financial Assistance for an Abortion
Clinic Based Assistance
As noted on the clinic cost examples above, individual facilities may assist the patient to find financial assistance or offer loans to allow women to get the procedure they need done as quickly as possible.
Medicaid Funded Abortion
Medicaid covers abortion in fifteen states, namely: Alaska, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia.
In order to qualify for this aid however, you must be resident in the state in question and the procedure must be carried out in that state.
Go here for more state-specific information on Medicaid funded abortions
Non-Medicaid Abortion Funds
There are abortion funds set up in many communities across the US. These are often volunteer organizations that rely on donation by private individuals. Generally these will donate towards the termination rather than pay the full cost and may also negotiate a clinic discount on your behalf. Click here to find out what non-Medicaid related abortion funding organizations operate in your state.
Depending on the plan and the location, several large health insurance companies do cover costs associated with abortion including Anthem Blue/ Corss Blue Shild, United Health Care and CIGNA. However, this may be disallowed according to state and employment.
For example Idaho, Kentucky, Missouri, North Dakota and Oklahoma all restrict private insurance plans from abortion coverage unless it is in a case in which not having an abortion would put the mother’s life in danger while twelve states in total restrict insurance coverage for any public employee
Last Updated: Nov 12, 2012