5 Ways to Get Help to Pay for an Abortion
Thanks to the Hyde Amendment, there’s no federal public funding for abortion. Anti-choice activists laud this as a pro-life outcome. But when women can’t afford abortions, they wait longer. This can lead to a lengthier and costlier procedure later in the pregnancy. That’s an outcome that serves no one, and which puts the woman in unnecessary danger. If you need help to pay for an abortion, there are options. Acting quickly can help you avoid running up against state abortion limitations. Earlier abortions are also safer and cheaper.
Ask About Clinic-Specific Options
Many abortion clinics offer low-cost services, or abortions on a sliding-scale system. If you can’t pay for an abortion on your own, call around to local clinics to ask about your options. Even if no local clinics offer reduced fees, inquire about costs. Abortion costs vary significantly from clinic to clinic. Choosing the lowest cost clinic can help you cobble together funds from other sources. To begin your search for an abortion clinic in your state, click here.
Contact the National Abortion Federation
The National Abortion Federation’s Rachel Falls Patient Assistance Fund provides funding to women who need help to pay for an abortion. Call the NAF hotline at 1-800-772-9100 to get answers to your questions, or to access abortion funding options.
Contact Your Insurer
Some private insurers will pay for an abortion, particularly if the abortion is medically necessary or is early in the pregnancy. In fact, about 12% of women pay for their abortions through private insurance.
If you have Medicaid, you might be in for a rough road. Federal Medicaid funds cannot be used to fund abortions. If, however, the abortion is the product of rape or incest, or if it will endanger your life, you’re eligible for funding through Medicaid. In a handful of states, segregated state funds–not federal taxpayer dollars–will cover an abortion for Medicaid patients. Contact your local Medicaid office to determine your eligibility.
Contact the National Network of Abortion Funds
The National Network of Abortion Funds maintains a comprehensive listing of organizations that will help pay for an abortion. The Network itself does not pay for abortions. Network participants’ requirements vary, and not all will cover the full cost of an abortion. The amount of funding for which you are eligible may be based on financial need, the specifics of your situation, or the current financial health of the funding agency. That means it’s wise to call several agencies and go with the one that offers the best funding options.
Try An Alternative Funding Route
In a country that still forces people into bankruptcy over health care bills, and in which women can be forced to carry to term pregnancies they neither want nor can afford, some women have turned to alternative funding routes. Consider a combination of the following options:
- Putting the abortion on a credit card.
- Asking a friend or family member for a loan.
- Setting up an account on a crowdsourcing website to fund your abortion. To avoid hate mail and threats, it’s wise to be unspecific about the surgery you need help to pay for.
- Talking to your doctor about a medical abortion. The abortion pill, which is safe only in early pregnancy, is often cheaper than surgery.
- Looking into abortion options in other states. Price and accessibility varies a lot, thanks to state abortion restrictions.
If you can’t afford to pay for an abortion, it’s tempting to resort to drastic measures. But buying abortion pills over the Internet can be deadly. Women have died due to botched attempts at miscarriages and abortions. An unwanted pregnancy can be scary, but don’t try to perform an abortion on yourself. Keep calling and reaching out until you find help.