Family Planning: How Much Does an Abortion Cost?

how much does an abortion cost

Although a child is a blessing, sometimes pregnancy can prove to be more of a risk than a blessing. For instance, you may conceive accidentally when you are not in a position to raise a child or you have a health condition that doesn’t allow you to carry a pregnancy to the end. In such situations, the only viable choice is to have an abortion. But how much does an abortion cost?

This article tells you everything you need to know about the cost of abortion, including how much it costs, available insurance policies, and factors that affect the cost of an abortion.

What Is Abortion?


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Also referred to as termination of pregnancy, abortion is the process of ending a pregnancy. Abortion can be done in two ways: abortion pills and a surgical procedure. Although some countries don’t allow abortion, many governments around the world have legalized it, provided that it’s done under the care of a professional and licensed doctor in a licensed hospital or clinic.

You can either hire can either contact an abortion provider directly or get a referral from a doctor. Due to the limited number of abortion providers, sometimes you will be required to book an appointment, with a waiting time of about two weeks, especially if it’s not an emergency.

Most abortions should be done before the 24th week of pregnancy to avoid complications. However, some special circumstances can force your doctor to advise you to have an abortion after 24 weeks.

For instance, you can have an abortion past the 24th week if your life is in danger or your child is likely to be born with a severe disability. So, before your abortion provider begins the process of terminating the pregnancy, they will do an ultrasound test to know how old your pregnancy is. Generally, abortion is safer at the early stages of pregnancy.

Does Abortion Hurt?


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This question is very common among women considering an abortion. The truth is that the experience of having an abortion varies between women. Some may experience mild pain and cramping while others experience severe stomach pain. The amount of pain and discomfort you’ll experience largely depends on the type of abortion you choose.

If you choose abortion pills, you’ll be required to take two pills: mifepristone and misoprostol. The mifepristone pill stops further development of the pregnancy, while the misoprostol pill causes premature contraction of the uterus to push the pregnancy tissue out. The simulated contraction of your uterus may cause pain and cramping.

Nonetheless, women respond differently to abortion pills. Some describe the feeling as the same painful cramps they experience during heavy menstrual periods. But some experience intense cramps that feel like their stomach is being sliced into pieces. If you choose abortion pills, it will take you between three and four hours to pass out the pregnancy tissue.

Surgical abortion, on the other hand, involves two different procedures. The first one is vacuum aspiration, which involves a gentle suction procedure to pull out the pregnancy tissue. This procedure requires anesthesia to numb your cervix. In rare instances, the doctor may recommend general anesthesia.

The use of anesthesia reduces the risk of pain, but some women may experience a dragging sensation during vacuum aspiration. Others may experience cramping for a few days after the procedure. Sometimes you’ll notice a few blood spots on your underwear, which may last for about two weeks.

The other surgical procedure is dilation and evacuation. This procedure is normally recommended for pregnancies older than 13 weeks. It involves the administration of general anesthesia to put you to sleep and the use of dilators (thin rods) to open your cervix. Then the doctor will pull out the pregnancy tissue using tongs and suction.

This procedure may cause some cramping for about two days. It can also leave you with blood spots on your underwear for about two weeks.

How Much Does an Abortion Cost?


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As mentioned above, several factors will determine the cost of your abortion, including the type of abortion you choose, the length of your pregnancy, where you live, and your health insurance coverage. For instance, the cost of abortion pills is lower than that of a surgical procedure. Also, the longer your pregnancy, the higher the cost of terminating it.

Please note that the cost of an abortion varies with location. For instance, the cost of surgical abortion in the United States of America is expected to be higher than in Asia or Africa, because of the quality of services offered and the level of professionalism demonstrated by the abortion providers in these areas. Also, patients in the USA enjoy more and better medical insurance policies than Asians or Africans.

In a country like the USA, you are likely to find reliable income and monetary support programs that aren’t available in third-world countries. So, you are likely to be supported financially for your abortion procedure even if you don’t have insurance cover. If you have health insurance coverage, the cost of your abortion will drop significantly because you won’t have to pay for the procedure directly from your pocket.

Cost of Abortion with Insurance

Although many health insurance policies cover most health services for women, abortion coverage is a bit complicated because not all abortions are instigated by health complications. Therefore, this coverage varies with health plans and where state you live. In some counties and states, the law prohibits insurance companies from covering abortion.

In such areas, you may have to pay for your abortion out-of-pocket. For instance, the state of Texas prohibits insurance companies from covering any services related to abortion. With insurance, your medical abortion may cost between $300 and $800, depending on the length of your pregnancy. The cost of a surgical abortion with insurance ranges between $600 and $1,500 depending on the length of your pregnancy.

Cost of Abortion Without Insurance

If you don’t have a health insurance cover or if your policy doesn’t include abortion, you might have to pay between $750 and $1,500. But this cost depends on the aforementioned factors like the type of abortion and length of your pregnancy.

Since there are many risks involved in trying to terminate a pregnancy that’s near the end, the cost of such a procedure is higher than that of terminating a pregnancy that’s at its early stages. Some surgical abortions can cost up to $3,000, especially if they involve a mature pregnancy.

What Happens to Your Body After an Abortion?


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Since abortion involves removing the pregnancy tissue from your uterus, you can expect to have some side effects, at least for a few days. However, these side effects and the entire recovery process vary based on the length of your pregnancy and the method of abortion. These effects also vary between women, with some women reporting serious emotional and physical effects after having an abortion.

Most women will experience some menstrual type of pain immediately after having an abortion, accompanied by cramps and vaginal bleeding. But these symptoms should improve after one or two days, depending on the type of procedure you had and how effectively it was done. If it’s a medical abortion, you may experience nausea and diarrhea. But these too should improve after two to three days.

Expect to get your next menstrual period 4 weeks after an abortion. So, if you don’t get your period after the fourth week, contact your doctor immediately. Most women who have had an abortion are fit to return to their daily activities after two days. But this isn’t the case for everyone.

You should take a rest until your body recovers fully. So, if you are preparing to have an abortion, plan to take one or two days off to allow your body to heal. You should also not make any travel arrangements until your body recovers fully.

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