Abortion Cost

Thinking of nipping it in the bud? Read the article and find answers to questions regarding abortion cost, it's legality and potential complications.
Let us start by looking at some facts about abortion:
  • Every year, it is estimated that about 46 million abortions take place all over the world and about 20 million of these are illegal.
  • From the time abortion was legalized in United States, till the year 2000, more than 39 million cases of legal abortions have been reported.
  • Every year, 2 out of every 100 women between the age of 15 - 44 undergo an abortion, out of which 61% have already given birth previously and 48% of them have an abortion previously.
  • Out of all pregnancies in America, 49% are unintended and almost half of these are ended by abortion.
  • Around 43% of all women have had an abortion till they reach 45 years of age.
These abortion facts, though startling, do imply the fact that abortion is a common procedure practiced world over. Reasons of abortion, as stated by patients themselves, could be either lack of financial resources to raise a child, a child would hamper future career prospects or not wanting to be a single parent. Another reason for abortion is teenage pregnancy, a result of carelessness more than anything else.

Whatever the reason, abortion facilities are available everywhere. Abortion procedures can be either surgical or medical, depending on how late the woman is into her pregnancy. It is advisable to carry out abortion as early as possible, preferably in the first trimester, as during this phase the abortion cost is low and so are the complications. The later the abortion is carried out, more the chances of risks. Few questions regarding legality, cost and potential risks of abortion are answered below.

Is Abortion Legal and Safe?

Abortion is definitely legal in the United States, ever since a law regarding the same was passed by the Supreme Court in 1973. This law is based on the premise that a woman has total rights when it comes to medical matters, including family planning. However, the Supreme Court has imposed certain restrictions on the practice of abortion which vary from state to state. Ever since abortion has been made legal, it has been a very common surgical procedure performed across the United States. Majority of doctors provide abortion services using the most advanced and modern surgical techniques available. In fact, rather ironically, abortion is considered to be safer than giving birth.

How Much Does an Abortion Cost ?

The abortion cost depends on two factors - which stage of pregnancy the woman is in and the place from where she is getting her abortion done. Generally, most abortions take place when the woman is in the first trimester of her pregnancy. When a woman decides to opt for abortion during the first trimester, she has the choice of either medical or surgical abortion. Since medical procedures involve consuming contraceptives, the amount paid towards the medication makes up the abortion cost. The surgical procedure is comparatively expensive. In either case, the average cost of an abortion would come up to about US$ 500 to 1000.

Since abortion through medical procedures is not an option in the second and third trimesters, the cost of abortion is higher. Surgery is more complicated and especially in the third trimester, risks are higher. The average cost of an abortion could come to anywhere between US$ 600 to 10,000, depending upon the surgical method opted and the place from where abortion is done.

Abortion cost is covered by most, though not all, insurance policies and therefore it is important to go through the policy documents carefully before claiming money. For people wanting to know about 'Medicaid' can call the National Abortion Federation to know whether Medicaid covers abortion in their state. Also, for people who can't afford its expenses, there are certain facilities which provide funding. Details of the same can be obtained from National Abortion Federation.

What Are the Possible Complications of Abortion ?

It is true that abortion is an extremely safe procedure, but there are certain potential risks which cannot be ignored. These complications are rare in occurrence and not many women are affected by them. Possible risks include:
  • The abortion process is left incomplete and hence needs to be repeated
  • The uterine wall could get perforated during the surgery, which can be safely treated
  • Infection around the pelvic region due to use of surgical instruments which can be treated by consuming prescribed anti-biotic tablets
Apart from these minor complications, major complications include hemorrhage, severe pelvic infection and hysterectomy. These are very rare cases noted in less than 1% of total abortion patients. There is also a very low chance of death during the abortion surgery. However, if the abortion procedure is carried out without any complications, chances of future pregnancy are not affected at all.

The decision regarding abortion should be left to the woman itself. After all, she is the best judge on whether she is ready to have a child or not. There is no point in giving birth to a child and then neglect his/her growth. As the abortion cost during early pregnancy is less and the procedure is considerably safe, it does seem to be a viable option. Also, if everything goes fine, pregnancy can happen again in future. However, the decision should be taken after consulting close friends, family and more importantly, a doctor.
By Suketu Mehta
Last Updated: 9/28/2011
Have Something to Say? | What Others Said