A Resource Guide to Abortion in a Post-Roe America
In a perfect world, access to abortion would be easy. As soon as you realize you need an abortion, you can get abortion pills from the pharmacy or make an appointment with your regular gynecologist for a quick and easy aspiration. But we don’t live in a perfect world. In today’s America, access to abortion can be difficult: even in “safe” states like California and New York, abortion pills are heavily restricted and can be quite expensive. And since few gynecologists offer abortion services outside of their private practice, you have to find a specialized clinic, which can be a difficult process, especially since many anti-abortion “crisis pregnancy centers” -abortion are easy to confuse with real abortion providers.
And scary, things will only get worse in the months to come. Across the country, extensive bans like Texas Senate Bill 8, made abortion functionally inaccessible; and with the U.S. Supreme Court about to overturn Roe vs. Wade, access is about to disappear in nearly half of America. No one is immune to these bans: even if the right to abortion is legally protected in your home state, an influx of patients from other states is likely to tax an already overburdened system, making appointments you hard to get.
All of this is exacerbated by a general truth about abortion: most people don’t really think about how they’re going to get one until they’re dealing with an unwanted pregnancy. But it’s something you can change. One of the best things you can do in a post-roe deer the world is know your options in advance and prepare an abortion access plan long before you need it – and share this information with others, so they can be prepared too.
Which method of abortion is best for me?
There are two main types of abortion, surgical and medical (also known as medical abortion or abortion with pills). A surgical abortion is performed by a trained professional, who uses techniques such as vacuum aspiration or dilation and curettage (D&C) to empty the contents of a uterus. In a medical abortion, a combination of pills (either mifepristone and misoprostol or misoprostol alone) is used to induce a miscarriage. There are pros and cons to each method. A surgical abortion requires going to a clinic, but it’s over and done quickly. A medical abortion can be done from anywhere, but it usually takes a few days for the abortion to be complete. Plus, not everyone can abort with pills: if you have a bleeding disorder, an IUD, or need an abortion later in pregnancy, a surgical abortion might be your safest bet. .
Your abortion plan will be different depending on whether you opt for surgical or medical abortion, so it’s good to learn about both and decide early which option is right for you. If you can do a medical abortion, it might be the best choice; as abortion clinics become overwhelmed with clients, wait times for appointments increase. The longer you wait to get an abortion, the more complicated and expensive it can become. In the end, a medical abortion now may be a better option than a surgical abortion in a few weeks, although a surgical abortion would be your first choice in an ideal scenario.
Where is my nearest abortion provider?
If you choose surgical abortion, your first stop should be Abortion search, a database of hundreds of reliable and verified abortion providers in the United States. Unlike Google, which sometimes finds anti-abortion organizations when you search for an abortion clinic, Abortion Finder will only show you genuine abortion providers, as well as the applicable abortion laws in that state. If you live in a state with severe abortion restrictions, Abortion Finder’s filters allow you to find the nearest clinic that meets your needs – a clinic that does not require a waiting period, a clinic that will provide an abortion after six weeks, or whatever else you might be looking for.
If a medical abortion is a good option for you, there are even more resources available. Although you can go to a physical clinic to get your abortion pills, to research has several times watch that taking these pills at home, on your own, is just as safe as taking them in the presence of a doctor. Plan C maintains an extensive database of verified abortion pill providers, including both telehealth services that provide support throughout the abortion process and online pharmacies that will ship the pills to you without additional support.
What if abortion is illegal in my state?
Even if abortion is illegal where you are, abortion with pills is still an option. If you can travel to a state where abortion is legal, a telehealth service can send you a letter the pills there. And if you can’t get around, the European site HelpAccess will connect you with an Indian pharmacy that ships abortion pills to all 50 US states, regardless of abortion laws. Because abortion is urgent and the process of sending pills from India can take a few weeks, AidAccess is also willing to prescribe abortion pills to people who are not currently pregnant in case they need them at the future. It’s true: you can go to AidAccess and get abortion pills right now. (How’s that for planning ahead?)
Anything else I should know?
Although having an abortion with pills is incredibly safe, doing it alone can be daunting. Fortunately, a number of sites have been created to guide people through the process of self-managing an abortion with pills. How to use the abortion pill and self-managed abortion; Safe and Supported offer everything you need to know about mifepristone-misoprostol and misoprostol-only abortions. There is also the Reprocare Healthline, which offers peer-based, trauma-informed emotional support to anyone having a home abortion with pills. And although self-administered abortion with pills is medically very safe, it is important to know that it can carry legal risks, especially if you live in a state where abortion is illegal. the Repro Legal Helpline is a free, confidential helpline that provides information and advice to people who want to self-manage their abortion. And if you end up in trouble, the Repro Legal Defense Fund provides bail and legal defense to people who have been investigated, arrested, or prosecuted for self-directed abortion.
No matter what type of abortion you have, it will likely cost you money, not just the abortion itself, but travel expenses as well. If you can save some money for a future abortion, great! But since many people opt for abortion due to financial problems, it is not necessarily a realistic option. Abortion fund can provide assistance. The National Network of Abortion Funds log in to an organization that will help you with your financial and logistical needs and will do everything possible to remove the barriers between you and your abortion. (Looking to support access to abortion? Donate to Abortion Funds is a great idea, as it is donate to independent clinics.)
Everyone deserves easy access to safe and affordable abortion. There is no doubt that the United States is on the wrong track and that abandoning the right to abortion will needlessly hurt many pregnant women. But if you need an abortion, know that you are not alone. There are many, many people and services ready and willing to help you get the care you need. The biggest hurdle is knowing where to find them, and you’ve just overcome it.