Abortion Prices

An abortion is like a fire department — you never think you’ll need one until you really, really do. You’re smart to map out an emergency plan, Abby, especially at a time when the future of reproductive rights is so uncertain.

I’ve been polling friends all week, and it appears that most people have no idea how much an abortion costs. In my early 20s, I naïvely assumed that if you could get yourself to a Planned Parenthood — not an easy or inexpensive feat, in many states, but doable in New York City — they’d “take care of it,” money being no object. Then a friend of mine got pregnant by accident, went to Planned Parenthood, and still had to come up with $500 for the procedure. Her experience woke me up to the fact that an abortion is far from free, even in a relatively high-access area like Manhattan.

According to Planned Parenthood itself, an in-clinic abortion (also known as a surgical abortion) can cost between $400 and $1,500 in the first trimester, whereas a medication abortion (also known as the abortion pill) usually costs between $400 and $800. The price also depends on where you seek care (hospitals are often more expensive), and how long you’ve been pregnant — the longer you wait, the fewer options you have, and the greater the expense. A second-trimester abortion can top $2,000 — not including related costs like travel or taking time off work (which, in certain industries, could jeopardize your employment altogether).