Most of us don’t think we’ll ever have an abortion, until we join the other half of all women in the US who has an unwanted pregnancy. And if we think about it at all, we assume we’d get an abortion pretty early in the pregnancy. While 90% of abortions do happen before 12 weeks, some women seek abortions later in their pregnancies.
Most women do not try to have later abortions. In fact, in a study done by Finer et al, nearly three fifths (58%) of women in the survey reported that they would have preferred to have had the abortion earlier than they did. In another study done by Drey et al, 29% or one third of women who ended up having abortions during their second trimester were in their first trimester when they made the first call to an abortion clinic. If this is the case, what causes women to have second trimester abortions?
First, let’s learn a bit about second trimester abortions. Drey’s study outlines the following basic information:
- One out of every ten abortions performed in the United States happens during the second trimester
- Second trimester abortions carry an increased risk of complications and are more expensive to obtain then first trimester abortions
- The American public tends to favor restrictions on later termination abortions
These restrictions vary state by state. In some states, like California and New York, Medicaid can cover the cost of an abortion. In others, such as Pennsylvania, Medicaid funds are forbidden from covering the procedure unless the woman is a survivor of rape, incest, or has a medical condition that threatens her life. And in other states still, Medicaid and private insurances are banned from covering abortion no matter the situation. This means that if a woman doesn’t live in a progressive state and if she doesn’t have health insurance that covers an abortion, she will have to spend time raising money towards the cost of her procedure. Depending on how long this takes, the cost of the procedure could go up weekly (as it often does in the second trimester). In the world of abortion funding, this is called “chasing the fee” and is kind of a Dante-esque hell. The longer she waits to have the abortion and the more time it takes her to raise the money, the more the abortion will cost, causing her to have to raise more money and further delay the procedure.