What do you need to be aware of the cost of arranging abortions
As a sociologist who studies reproduction, gender, and health, I’ve spoken to thousands of females who wanted abortions, a lot of whom traveled to seek treatment. My recently conducted study about the experiences of women who required to traverse state borders to get abortions can help to understand better the costs that abortion patients when they must travel.
If you live in a state where abortion is not permitted, the process could be costly, overwhelming, and lonely.
Why do people travel to get abortion treatment?
Patients travel for medical treatment for a variety of reasons. When it comes to abortion-related travel, they are generally traveling because abortion is illegally restricted or is not available in their home region. If they want to get an abortion, they are left with no other choice than to travel.
As of the end of August 2022, more than half of States in the U.S. have already been able to restrict or are set to limit abortion severely. People seeking abortions in these states might choose to relocate to a state where abortion is still lawful, similar to what many Texans have done after the introduction of their state’s extremely restrictive law in 2021.
- What are the major costs associated with traveling to get abortion treatment?
The majority of people are aware that traveling to an abortion center will cost expenses such as gas, hotel, and plane tickets. Research has revealed that the majority of abortion patients live within or near the poverty level of the federal government. It is obvious the fact that these expenses could constitute a significant cost.
However, traveling to abortions often comes with various other costs. For instance, many abortion patients are already parents of children, which means they have to determine the best way to care for their children when they travel for treatment. Those who don’t possess a trustworthy car may need to lease a vehicle to make the long journey across state lines.
Abortion funds – non-profit organizations that provide financial and practical support for those seeking to have an abortion – can assist those who are financially challenged in managing these costs. However, often, this assistance does not cover all the costs. There are questions regarding the ability of funds to keep up with the demand.
There is also the issue of losing wages when the patient has to travel. For those who do hours-based work, when you aren’t working, you don’t receive a salary.
Certain companies, such as Starbucks or Dick’s Sporting Goods, are offering financial aid to employees who have to travel to an abortion clinic.
Traveling for an abortion can also have emotional costs. I’m currently conducting a study which is based on conversations with thirty women all over the U.S. about the emotional effects of having to travel outside of the state to receive abortion services. Based on these conversations, I’ve discovered that traveling to get abortion treatment can bring on the pressure of navigating unfamiliar territory. For a few, it may be their first experience in the city or away from their home. This also means that they are removed from their normal support networks and the emotional and physical familiarity of home. This can be emotionally draining.
In addition, traveling involves explaining to coworkers or family members – why they’re traveling. This is also an emotional and personal cost.
There hasn’t been much research on this issue until now. The majority of research on abortion travel has been focused on the negative aspects. However, during my research, I found that some women who traveled to get abortions expressed how much they enjoyed their emotional care at the clinic of their choice – especially after the opposition towards abortions they’d encountered in their communities of origin.
The desire for non-judgmental, compassionate treatment could lead one to go to a clinic for an abortion. However, in the post-war world, it is unlikely that anyone will enjoy this privilege. Instead, travel will be an essential requirement rather than a choice. With the potential for positive emotional effects, traveling for abortion comes with large and unambiguous expenses.