Prior to the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the average distance an abortion patient would have to travel to seek treatment was 25 miles, one way.
But according to the Guttmacher Institute, that distance is predicted to rise to 122 miles.
Those extra 97 miles introduce a litany of extra costs and expenses — and multiply existing ones — for people who need an abortion. From fuel to child care, lodging to lost wages, getting treatment can get expensive.
“Money is the thing right now that is determining whether or not people can access care. It’s all around money,” says Kelsea McLain, Deputy Director of the Yellowhammer Fund, a reproductive justice organization serving Alabama, Mississippi, and the Deep South.
But help exists. Even in a post-Roe landscape, there are state and national funds — like the Yellowhammer Fund — that can help cover some or all of the costs associated with seeking an abortion.
The purpose of this article, then, isn’t to itemize how much you’ll have to spend.
It’s to help you ask for the right amount of support.
By the end of this piece you’ll have:
- A clear, holistic picture of the typical costs associated with seeking an abortion.
- Tips on reducing these costs.
- A list of resources for seeking financial, medical, legal, and emotional support.
Know That Help Is Available
Amy in North Carolina had an abortion while she was in grad school.
“I was 25, on student loans and a student stipend with immigrant parents who definitely couldn’t afford to help me raise a baby.”
She says her no. 1 piece of advice to people seeking treatment today is to ask for help.
“The Planned Parenthood staff was so helpful,” she told Money Under 30. “They said if you can’t afford this, come talk to us.”
She wants other women to know that “you’re not fighting this alone. Get yourself to a Planned Parenthood or find a doula on a hospital website and call them. The big take-home message is that you shouldn’t do this alone.”
Kayla, a Storyteller with Planned Parenthood in Georgia, knows the process of planning an abortion can seem daunting. There can be a lot of logistics, costs, and moving parts to consider.
Her advice is to break it down into three parts:
- Figure out where you can go.
- Figure out how to get there.
- Figure out how to cover the costs.
So, as you read on, keep in mind that you may not have to cover 100% of these expenses yourself. In fact, 71% of people receive some sort of financial assistance in covering an abortion, according to research from the UCSF Bixby Center.
The goal, again, is to simply help you identify what kinds of costs you might incur so that you can ask for the appropriate amount of help.
So whether you can afford 5% or 95%, there’s most likely help out there for you.
“Abortion funds exist for everyone,” Kelsea says. “Even people with means don’t always have enough means.”
Let’s review some of the costs associated with seeking an abortion, so you can plan the logistics and seek the right amount of help.
1. Lost Wages
Perhaps the biggest expense associated with seeking an abortion is time. Specifically, time not spent working.
Kate is an abortion doula with 10+ years of experience. Abortion doulas are trained to offer physical, mental, and emotional support before, during, and after an abortion.
“Think of me as your friendly abortion Siri,” she says. “Ask me anything.”
Kate warns that lost wages are a big — and sometimes overlooked — expense associated with seeking an abortion.
“People put off bills to get abortions,” she told Money Under 30. “By far the biggest cost we’re seeing is lost wages.”
Shelby, a service industry worker in Texas, got a surgical abortion in early 2022.
“I had to travel to Oklahoma. I only live two hours away so I didn’t have to get a hotel,” she told Money Under 30. “But me and my driver had to take time off — so he lost a day of wages and I lost two.”
Sometimes lost wages are unavoidable, but they can be minimized. So whether you’re salaried or hourly, let’s discuss how much time you might need to take off, and how that translates into other expenses.
How Much Time Will You Need to Take Off To Get an Abortion?
If you order medication-based treatment online (aka the abortion pill) and take it at home, you may only need a half day to recover to the point where you feel like working again.
But for in-clinic help, the number of days will be a combination of:
- The waiting period.
- The recovery period.
The Waiting Period
As of July 2022, 29 states require you to wait between 18 and 72 hours between receiving counseling and receiving treatment.
Fourteen of those states require you to go for in-person counseling, meaning you’ll have to make two separate trips to the clinic. If you’re traveling far out of state for treatment, that could mean getting a hotel for up to four nights: three nights for the waiting period and one for the recovery day.
Here’s a list of states and waiting periods as of July 2022, courtesy of the Guttmacher Institute:
In order to determine your potential waiting period — and whether you’ll have to go in-person for counseling (aka the “pre-appointment”) — call your nearest clinic or two and start the conversation.
“Clinics want to help you. They know where the resources are — for funding, child care, etc. — and they’re prepared to help you navigate it all,” says Kelsea.
Here are two great tools for finding nearby clinics:
Both are free and operate similarly, but let’s use I Need An A as an example. The site will prompt you for three non-personally-identifiable pieces of data: your age, zip code, and weeks since your last period.
It’ll then use that date to provide:
- A quick overview of the legality of abortion in your state.
- A list of nearby clinics, with directions and contact information (pro-life centers are not listed).
- An FAQ specific to your state.
One of I Need An A’s most helpful features is inside an FAQ; if you click the purple box labeled “How am I going to afford this?”, you’ll get a list of local and national funds that can help.
The Recovery Period
“For most people, an abortion feels like strong period cramps, but everyone’s experience is different,” said Dr. Meera Shah, Chief Medical Officer of Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic & National Medical Spokesperson at PPFA, in an email to Money Under 30.
“After a procedural abortion, you should try to take it easy for the rest of the day, but can go back to work, school, driving, exercise, and most other normal activities the next day if you feel up to it, and you can have sex as soon as you feel ready.”
So for surgical abortions, the key takeaway is this: you’ll probably be fine to go into work the next day, but you may still want to take a day off regardless.
Same goes for the abortion pill, said Dr. Shah.
“Plan on taking it easy during the day that you take the misoprostol. Most people start to feel better the day after the abortion is completed.”
While you may be OK medically — to drive, work, etc. — some people choose to take the day off after an abortion to recover mentally and physically.
“Medication abortions are like really, really bad periods,” says Kate, the abortion doula Money Under 30 spoke with. “You may not feel like going into work the next day.”
“It really depends on the person,” says Kelsea, of the Yellowhammer Fund. “Listen to your body. If you’ve had a rough delivery before, plan a day off. Do something nice for yourself and love yourself. If you have the luxury and ability to take time off, you really should.”
Kayla, the Storyteller with Planned Parenthood, also doesn’t regret taking a full rest day after her procedure.
“I checked myself into a hotel because I just wanted my own space,” she told Money Under 30. “I was emotionally exhausted — my body was trying to guide me towards rest and care.”
Circling back, here’s how to determine how much time you may need to take off to safely seek an abortion:
- Determine whether you’ll be ordering the pill online or seeking help from a clinic.
- Find your nearest clinic using ineedana.com.
- Take your destination state’s waiting period and add one full day for recovery.
With that number in mind, let’s talk about how to strategically time your treatment to minimize any potential lost wages.
If You’re Salaried:
If you’re a salaried W-2 employee with access to paid time off, you might consider:
- Using a vacation day for the scheduled day of treatment.
- Keeping a sick/vacation day in your backpocket if your body asks for a recovery day.
Which raises a new question: should you be using sick days or vacation days for an abortion?
“Doesn’t matter,” Kate says. Even if your employer asks for a doctor’s note on sick days, “clinics will issue generic notes.”
If You’re Hourly/1099:
If you’re a gig or hourly worker without access to paid time off, you can still avoid lost wages through a little strategic timing and, if possible, a rearrangement of your work schedule.
“Order the pill online, and take it right before your time off,” says Kate. “You can take a few days off or none if you schedule it right.”
If you’d prefer to have the pill dispensed by a clinic — or you’re too far along in your gestation period for medication-based treatment to be effective — there are still ways to minimize your time away from work.
“Shop around,” Kelsea advises. “Call around until you find a clinic with open appointments on your day off.”
Kelsea acknowledges that shopping around multiple clinics may sound kinda… consumerist, but it actually provides a litany of benefits. You can find same-day appointments, referrals to additional funding sources, and more.
Of course, if you live in an area without access to abortion services, you may still find that your choices are limited, and you’ll have no choice but to miss some work hours.
In Shelby’s case, she was pretty far along before making the decision to abort, so she had a somewhat limited time window to seek procedure-based treatment.
“[My driver and I] are service industry workers, so we don’t get sick days. I had to set aside about $1,000 personally. More than $700 for the procedure and the rest for gas and taking the time off of work.”
In addition to asking the clinic about financial aid, her advice to wage workers is to start saving.
“To try and put away small amounts where you can. Saving a little over time helped me. I worked for tips at the time and picked up extra shifts, pinched pennies where I could. It’s scary but it can be done.”
If you’re short on cash by the time you need treatment, says Kelsea, just say so.
“A fund will ask you, ‘How much can you afford? You can afford $100? OK, that’s the amount we’re going to work from.’”
Remember: even in a post-Roe landscape, the financial aid is out there and they want to help you.
“Eventually all of these resources are going to come together to make it happen for you,” Kelsea affirms.
In some cases, these funds will even help to cover your anticipated lost wages. But to have a productive conversation with a fund, you’ll want to have a number to provide.
Let’s calculate that number now.
Calculating Lost Wages
If you’re an hourly worker and taking time off can’t be avoided, you can estimate your potential lost wages using the following simple formula:
Lost Wages = Hourly Wage x Number of Hours You Expect to Miss
Jot this number down as we talk about the second biggest cost associated with seeking an abortion: the cost of the procedure itself.
2. Cost of Treatment
The cost of your treatment will vary based on your:
- Stage of pregnancy.
- Insurance coverage.
If you happen to have health insurance, definitely head to your provider’s site right now and check your benefits. Some plans cover abortion treatment, which could bring the dollar figures we’re about to discuss way down.
But for now, let’s focus on out-of-pocket expenses before financial aid.
|Timing/Gestation Period||Treatment||Median Cost Range|
|Within 10 weeks||Medication-based||$100 - $500|
|Within 10 weeks||Surgical||$600 - $700|
|Between 11 and 20 weeks||Surgical||$700 - $2,100 (with costs generally rising ~$100 per week)|
|21+ weeks||Surgical||$3,000 or more|
If you’re within 10 weeks, you’re probably wondering how the pill could cost $100 or $500.
Let’s break that down.
Cost of the Pill: $100 – $500
If you get the pill dispensed from a clinic, the price will generally hover around $500.
Your other option is to order the pill online from a safe marketplace like Plan C Pills.
“Plan C Pills is a really great resource,” says Kelsea. “They connect you to affordable, vetted pharmacies — often based overseas — and they do lab testing to confirm they’re sending safe, effective treatment.”
“I follow Plan C Pills on Instagram,” Shelby says. “I’d absolutely use a resource like that in the future if necessary.”
Here’s what a listing looks like on Plan C Pills, offered by provider carafem. Note that virtual visits with the provider are included in the price, and the delivery time is one to three days.
“Plan C is such a powerful tool because they have various options at various times,” says Kate. “You can find a pharmacy in the Caribbean with three-day shipping.”
Pharmacies based in India tend to have the most affordable options — sometimes as low as $100 — but there are two caveats to this:
- The shipping times are often 14 to 21 days.
- There are legal considerations, which Plan C Pills clearly outlines — and even offers a link to the free, confidential Repro Legal Helpline.
But for many people who need an abortion, waiting three weeks for shipping just isn’t a viable option.
“During the early days of the pandemic — when shipping delays were common — there were people who had to go in for a procedural treatment,” Kelsea warns.
Consider Having “Advanced Provisions” Around the House
An “advanced provision” is just a fancy term for a pill that you buy just in case you (or a friend) needs it.
According to the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), both mifepristone and misoprostol tablets have a two-year shelf life. Kate recommends keeping them “dry, private, and do not hoard.”
She says, “Having an advanced provision is a really, really good idea.”
Kelsea says that advanced provisions are a smart move for “people of reproductive age who don’t want a pregnancy right now, and people in limited access states.”
But, she warns, as with all at-home abortion treatments, “the pill in your cabinet needs to be paired with learning about how to protect yourself and how to protect others — legally and medically.”
As for quality control, be careful; Kelsea predicts that with the fall of Roe, more and more people will start turning to online vendors to have pills shipped to them. This will create a massive opportunity for profiteers, scam artists, and illicit vendors.
“Don’t Google around; stick with the site Plan C Pills,” she advises.
Of course, the pill isn’t for everyone. Even with three-day shipping options, not everyone will discover that they’re pregnant in time to order the pill online. Nor will they necessarily be ready to make the decision to abort within that limited time window.
So let’s talk about the costs associated with having a procedure.
Cost of the Procedure: $600 – $2,100
Here’s a more granular breakdown of the costs associated with procedure abortions, provided by Compass Care:
- Suction Aspiration / Vacuum Abortion (6-12 weeks gestation): $600 – $1,000.
- Dilation and Curettage (13-16 weeks gestation): $850 – $1,600.
- Dilation and Evacuation (17-21 weeks gestation): $1,500 – $2,100.
There’s a general rule of thumb for abortion procedures that says the price starts at $700 at week 11 and rises by $100 every week after that.
Keep in mind that the costs at the nearest clinic and even the specific procedure they recommend will vary. So, to get an accurate cost estimate — one you can use to ask for the right amount of aid — head to ineedana.com and call some of the closest clinics.
Once you have your potential lost wages and cost of the procedure in mind, let’s circle back to Kayla’s three-step guide to getting treatment:
- Figure out where you can go.
- Figure out how to get there.
- Figure out how to cover the costs.
We’ve figured out where to go, so let’s chat about how to get there, and the associated costs to consider.
If you’re seeking treatment from a clinic — either medication-based or procedure-based — your next round of costs to plan for will be travel-related.
“Travel distance is an important determinant of access to health services, including abortion care,” write Liza Fuentes and Jenna Jerman in a study published in the Journal of Women’s Health.
“In 2016, the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt upheld that increased driving distances can contribute to an undue burden on access to abortion care.”
With the fall of Roe, the “undue burden” is about to greatly increase. As you might recall, the average one-way distance to the nearest clinic is about to go from 25 miles to 122 miles, per the Guttmacher Institute.
So let’s itemize — and plan for — precisely which travel costs you may incur while getting treatment at the nearest clinic. We’ll also cover some support resources, like Brigid Alliance, which may cover some or even all of your travel costs.
Gas and Mileage
If your nearest clinic is within acceptable driving distance, you won’t have to catch a flight — but you’ll probably have to fill up the car a few times.
You can find the average price of a gallon of fuel in each state by accessing AAA’s gas price heat map.
To get a better idea of how many gallons you’ll need, try using the following simple formula. And if you can’t recall your car’s MPG, Googling “[Make, Model, Year] MPG” will bring it right up.
Distance to clinic, in miles
2.2 (for round trip plus contingency)
the combined MPG of your vehicle
average price of a gallon in your area
With gas at $5 a gallon, taking a car with high MPG can make a big difference.
Let’s say you’re driving 250 miles round trip, and instead of taking your own SUV that gets 17 MPG, you borrow a friend’s hybrid that gets 51 MPG. That’ll save you 10 gallons, or $50.
Better yet, see if your friend can drive you. Traveling with a companion is safer, gives you support, and may let you save on some costs if they offer to split meals, gas, etc.
Granted, not everyone lives in a place where abortion is socially accepted. For people in those areas, Kelsea has an interesting tip:
“Test your friends to see who’s supportive of abortion. Share an article or pro-choice meme. Folks you trust who respond positively might be a great place to start asking for help.”
But what if you and your partner/companion don’t have access to a car?
If you don’t have access to a car and public transit isn’t a viable option to reach the nearest clinic, you might consider renting a car instead.
And remember: some funds can help you cover the cost of a rental, if necessary.
The challenge with renting cars from a rental agency is that they’re:
- Have limited pickup/dropoff locations.
Turo addresses both issues.
Turo is like AirBnB for cars: you rent cars and trucks from real people who live nearby. Unlike with a rental agency by the airport, you can easily find cars on Turo for less than $40 a day. In total, a two-day round trip including insurance and fees can be well under $150.
Just be mindful that some cars have daily mileage limits, but you can filter for cars with no limits under “More Filters.”
Before we talk about flights, we want to acknowledge that yes, travel is starting to look expensive (hence “undue burden”). But again, this isn’t a bill — it’s just a list of potential costs so you can ask for the right amount of help and won’t be surprised by expenses later.
If you live deep inside an area of the country where abortion services are inaccessible — like the red areas of CNN’s heatmap — taking a flight might be another travel option to consider.
Granted, most people still prefer to drive to the nearest clinic. Even if it’s over a long distance, “driving lets them feel more in control,” says Kelsea.
But flying might make sense if you can fly somewhere with a support network waiting for you — family, friends, doulas, etc.
For example, if you live in Austin, Texas, and the nearest drivable clinic is 588 miles away in New Mexico, it might make more sense to just fly to California where your friend lives, especially if they can drive you to the clinic and give you a place to stay.
It all circles back to always being 100% transparent with the clinics about your medical and financial needs.
Let’s talk about a place to stay.
If you’re flying to a state with a mandatory waiting period — one that also requires you to be in-person for the pre-appointment — you’ll definitely need to find somewhere to stay.
If you’re driving, though, it could go either way.
“I only lived two hours away so I didn’t have to get a hotel,” Shelby says.
And while Kate and Dr. Shah say you should be OK to drive the day after the procedure, you might want to consider bringing someone who can help drive you back.
The other practical benefit to bringing someone — aside from the emotional support and the company — is that most clinics require someone to sign you out. The local doula collective can help you find someone, of course, but bringing a friend just takes one more step out of the planning process.
Let’s look at our options:
- Staying with a friend is ideal (provided they’re supportive of your choice) since it’ll be free and you’ll have some company.
- Couchsurfing probably isn’t super safe or private, so let’s scratch that off the list.
- Hostels are safe and affordable, but probably lack the quiet and privacy you’ll want during recovery.
- AirBnBs are a great option, and typically much more affordable than a hotel.
- Hotels are more expensive than AirBnBs — and prices are going up — but they’re predictable, quiet, clean, private, and many offer room service for a recovery meal.
So basically, if you can’t stay with a friend, it comes down to a hotel or an AirBnB.
Now, AirBnBs are definitely still an option. They can be highly affordable, closer to the clinic than a hotel, and even provide access to a fridge and a kitchen. But booking AirBnBs can be risky, since the experience isn’t always as predictable or consistent as a hotel stay. At minimum, you’ll want to filter your AirBnB search for “Entire Places” offered by “Superhosts.”
But if you can afford a hotel room, that may be your best, safest option.
“I got a hotel room. No regrets,” says Kelsea.
So did Kayla, as you may recall.
“I checked myself into a hotel because I just wanted my own space,” she says. “I was emotionally exhausted — my body was trying to guide me towards rest and care.”
Keep in mind that it’s totally OK, and even encouraged, to treat yourself to a decent stay. And don’t be afraid to ask for the funds for help with that.
“I myself needed an abortion fund to help me out,” says Kelsea. “Asking will allow for the opportunity to get what you need. People punish themselves when they have abortions — I personally felt like, ‘This is my burden, I need to bear this burden on my own,’ and it was very hard for me until I involved other people.”
Meals and Snacks
Kayla told me that while she doesn’t regret checking into a hotel, it wasn’t an expense she’d 100% planned for.
Neither was all the takeout.
“Eating out three meals a day adds up.”
True, the average cost of a commercially prepared meal now exceeds $13. And that cost can quickly multiply if you’re ordering room service, DoorDash, etc., during recovery.
Kate’s advice is to head to the store.
“Get a bunch of stuff ahead of time. Especially if you’re driving. And stay hydrated.”
Clinics are also known to provide care packages with food, feminine hygiene products, safe sex kits, and more. Just ask.
But you don’t have to skimp on meals and snacks just to save money.
“Eat good, nutritious food. Consider that your body is getting medical care — really caring for our bodies through this process is crucial,” says Kelsea.
And it’s OK to splurge on a recovery meal, and to even have it delivered.
“Get UberEats. Get your favorite food. Wear your favorite pajamas,” says Kate. “Lean into those opportunities for mental health because our mental health is precious.”
We know, that was a lot. But now that we’re past the midpoint, a couple of things:
- At the risk of sounding like a broken record, help exists. The goal here today is to itemize the costs you might incur so that you can plan ahead and ask for the right amount of help. It’s not a bill.
- Even though we have four more “costs” to cover, the rest of these are smaller and may not even apply to your situation.
4. Extra Clinic Fees
Sometimes clinics may recommend or even require extra services with your treatment. Typically these range from $100 to $200, and the four main ones are for:
- Patients with high BMI.
- Aborting twins.
- General anesthesia (which can range up to $1,000).
Here’s a sample fee schedule from Michael Benjamin, MD, a clinic in Ft. Lauderdale:
Now, a clinic will never deliberately surprise you with these fees. But for planning purposes, Kelsea recommends asking the following questions on the phone with every fund and/or clinic you speak with:
- What additional fees might apply to my unique situation?
- Who should I talk to if I run into a surprise fee?
“We’re intimately familiar with the clinics we work with,” Kelsea says. “We’ll know what fees you might run into.”
Fees may also vary between clinics.
“If fees are getting high, shop around. See if there’s a better sedation option nearby.”
As for general surprise expenses, like car trouble, or the need for extra feminine hygiene products, call up your fund.
“I get calls all the time about last-minute expenses, like ‘I just got a flat tire and I can’t spare $100’,” Kelsea says.
“So they call, and we send them $100 for a new tire.”
5. Child Care
According to the Guttmacher Institute, 59% of abortions are obtained by women with children. And because children typically aren’t allowed inside abortion clinics, finding child care is a huge consideration.
“Child care has always been a huge barrier to people, and factors into people choosing to continue their current pregnancies,” says Kelsea.
“It’s a huge consideration,” adds Kate. “Oftentimes people can’t afford it, and it adds to the emotional struggle of getting treatment.”
Child care has also become less accessible since COVID-19. A survey by Child Care Aware of America found that between December 2019 and March 2021, nearly 9,000 daycares closed in 37 states.
Babysitters are also in high demand and, for many people, cost-prohibitive to begin with. According to Parents.com, the average rate to hire a sitter for one child is now around $18 an hour.
That’s why both Kate and Kelsea recommend that parents order treatment online and try to take the pill at home, if possible.
“See if medication abortion and self-managing is a good option,” says Kelsea. “If you can’t self-manage, don’t be afraid to verbalize to a fund or clinic that you need to hire child care. Many have connections with local doulas, volunteers, and daycares that can help.”
One cost-effective option might be to have a responsible friend or family member watch your kid(s) while you’re gone. And in a greater sense, knowing who’d have your back if you need an abortion is a good thing to know sooner than later.
“Now is the time to figure out who are the people that are safe to talk to about abortion in our lives,” says Kelsea. “Who leaves little hearts on your Facebook or Insta posts about abortion or bodily autonomy?”
6. Recovery Supplies
The penultimate cost to consider when planning for treatment is recovery supplies. Things like:
- Heavy pads.
- Heating pads.
- Over-the-counter pain relievers.
- General period care.
So how much of each supply will you need?
Depends on you and your body. Kate, Kelsea, and Dr. Shah all agree that an abortion is like having a really, really bad period, so it’s best to prepare accordingly.
If you ask, funds and clinics will do their best to provide it for you. Or, at least the financial aid to go grab it yourself at Walgreens or CVS.
“Abortion funds will give you an extra $15 to get a heating pad. They’ll give you an extra $40 for homeopathic medicine. Just be honest about what you think you might need,” says Kate.
“Just listen to a) the clinic and b) your body. Don’t divorce yourself from learning what post-abortion can look like.”
7. Counseling and Mental Health Services
The final cost that’s often associated with abortion is professional mental health counseling.
Thankfully, you don’t necessarily have to pay a therapist $200 an hour for support. Resources exist just for this purpose.
“If you have lingering mental health concerns, follow up with your clinic. They might know of a free resource to support you,” says Kelsea.
One such option Kelsea recommends is the All-Options Talk Line. It’s a general, no-cost hotline for talking about “past or current experience with abortion, adoption, parenting, infertility, or pregnancy loss.”
If you go the traditional therapy route, know that abortion funds typically won’t cover the costs, but your insurance plan might.
Kelsea also says don’t be afraid to ask if your provider is pro-life or pro-choice to ensure you get judgement-free care.
For a place to start, head to Psychology Today’s helpful Find a Therapist tool. Search by your zip code, and filter by LGBTQ+. More often than not, this indirect method will filter out providers who may not be a good fit for the topic of abortion recovery.
General Research Tips
Before we start wrapping up with a list of helpful links and resources, here are some general care-seeking tips provided by our sources:
Know the Difference Between PP and CPC
Planned Parenthood is a pro-choice organization that can help you find and fund your treatment. Crisis Pregnancy Centers are pro-life organizations that may provide complimentary ultrasounds, but will not help you find and fund actual treatment.
Be Careful Googling for Clinics or Pills Online
“Just Googling clinics can lead you down the wrong path,” says Kelsea. Many of Google’s first results may be Crisis Pregnancy Centers going by another name, scam pill sites, or worse.
Facebook and Reddit Can Be Your Friends
Protected, moderated subreddits like r/abortion and Facebook pages for Planned Parenthood and local support groups like Arkansas Abortion Help / Rides can be safe destinations for advice or general chat.
Be Careful Which Apps You Allow to Track Your Data
“Delete your period-tracking apps,” says Rebecca Neale, a family lawyer based in Bedford, Massachusetts. “That’s a digital paper trail that can be subpoenaed in a civil suit.”
An exception might be Euki, which Kelsea herself actually helped to develop. Euki stores your data to your phone’s hard drive — not the cloud — so you can permanently delete it. Plus, if you’re being coerced into opening the app, you can enter a special failsafe passcode that populates bogus data.
Spot On is another option, created by Planned Parenthood. Spot On can be used without creating an account, thereby keeping users anonymous. Your data is only stored locally to your phone, with no personal identifiable information saved on Spot On’s servers, and can be deleted at any time simply by deleting the app.
Where to Get Help
Here’s a list of resources, organized by what kind of help you might need:
- I Need An A prompts for your age, zip code, and weeks since your last period and provides you with a list of the nearest clinics, FAQs, and more.
- Abortion Finder operates similarly to I Need an A.
- Planned Parenthood is a nonprofit reproductive health resource that can provide financial and emotional support to people who need an abortion.
- Plan C Pills is a safe online marketplace for ordering affordable medication-based treatment for as low as $100.
- The National Abortion Federation represents and supports abortion providers across the country. They also operate a toll-free, multilingual hotline for abortion referrals and those seeking financial assistance.
- National Network of Abortion Funds is, as the name implies, a resource for finding your local fund for financial support.
- Yellowhammer Fund is the nonprofit that Kelsea directs. They’re mostly based in the South but will happily provide guidance to people who need an abortion nationwide.
- The Miscarriage and Abortion Hotline will help people who need an abortion with at-home, medication-based treatment.
- Brigid Alliance is a national logistics/financial support provider, and another great launchpad for holistic support.
- If/When/How can educate you on the legality of abortion in your state and the possible risks of pursuing treatment.
- Repro Legal Helpline is If/When/How’s free, live hotline for seeking legal guidance or representation.
- Your city or state’s Legal Aid Society can also provide free civil legal support for people who can’t afford an attorney.
- Euki is a safe and encrypted period tracker. No cloud access to your data, and even has a failsafe that lets you enter a fake password that populates fake data and deletes yours in case someone is coercing you into unlocking your phone.
- Spot On is another birth control and period tracking app, put out by Planned Parenthood. Users can remain anonymous by using the app without creating an account; data is only saved locally to a person’s phone and can be deleted at any time by deleting the app.
- All Options Talk Line is a free hotline Kate recommends for anyone seeking emotional support and guidance during a reproductive experience (miscarriage, abortion, parenthood, etc.).
- Planned Parenthood Chat is a free text-based chat window that can be accessed anytime for questions, guidance, and emotional support.
- r/abortion is a carefully curated and protected subreddit for connecting with other experts and people who need an abortion. It can be browsed 100% anonymously.
- Finally, your state or local abortion support group on Instagram or Facebook — for example, Arkansas Abortion Help/Rides — can be a great place to connect with experts, people with experience, or even find direct support (rides, meals, aid, etc.).
If you’re daunted by the process of seeking safe, affordable treatment, rest assured it’s very possible regardless of your financial situation.
It’ll just take some work.
“Take it one step at a time,” says Kayla. “There’s a pipeline of help waiting.”
“Doulas, clinics, funds, nurses, OBGYNs,” Amy adds. “Call them. You’re not fighting this alone.”
“You will come out the other end of this stronger, just like the more than 20% of women who have been in your shoes at some point as well,” says Shelby.
We also asked Kelsea to provide parting words for anyone who needs to hear them.
“Gather your resolve. Bear down and do it. It’s going to take a lot of work. You’ve got so many people in your corner who will help you navigate the pitfalls,” she says. “Don’t let these circumstances determine your choice in this moment.”
Featured image: Jude Schroder/Shutterstock.com