New York Magazine
SEVEN RECENT ABORTION STORIES
1. SEATTLE: MADI, 25
When I called the clinic, they asked if I wanted medication or surgical abortion. They said with a surgical, you have a 100 percent success rate of expelling the tissue, but it’s expensive—it was about $1,000 versus $600 for the pill. So I went for the pill.
2. PHOENIX: BREANNA, 30
I ended up going to a private clinic. They do it first come, first served, and all the online reviews said to get there at 3 a.m., before they open at
eight. So I called out of work and got there at 4:30 a.m. It’s January in Arizona, and you have to sit outside in a line that wraps around the building. Everybody’s shivering and bundled up—this quiet line of sad fucking women. I sat in that line till about noon, and they took one person after me and sent everybody else home.
3. SAN ANTONIO: ANNE, 43
At the ten-week mark, my husband and I learned that the baby had a 95 percentile risk of trisomy 18, a fatal chromosomal disorder: Either you have a miscarriage or stillbirth, or if they are born, most babies die within the first month. My OB/GYN said she was sorry but did not counsel me about abortion. I saw two separate high-risk doctors; neither spoke to me about termination. But I went on Reddit and someone recommended a clinic in New Mexico. I took three days off and flew to Albuquerque. The procedure cost $600, but with the flight, rental car, airport parking lot, and loss of wages, it was probably $3,800.
4. SOUTH DAKOTA: SAMANTHA, 38
After my doctor confirmed that I was having a miscarriage, she wanted to give me the abortion pill to help evacuate the sac. But she couldn’t because of the law: When you’re pregnant, your HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) levels have to be at a certain point to administer the pill in the clinic— otherwise, it counts as an elective abortion, which can only be done at Planned Parenthood. I called Planned Parenthood and couldn’t get in for three weeks, and when I finally went for my appointment, they wanted to give me the pill that day because I had been in pain for so long. But because of South Dakota’s waiting period, they had to wait 72 hours.
5. DETROIT AREA: CLARE, 23
For a fetal anomaly, my doctor suggested an abortion via labor induction. We weren’t given a quote, but the hospital told us it would cost more than another procedure, which was $3,900. The hospital also kept saying if anything went wrong, it would be more. Usually, a labor induction at my stage in pregnancy (18 weeks) doesn’t take long, but mine took four days. My body just wasn’t responding. The whole time at the hospital, I thought, How much is this gonna fucking
cost? In Michigan, abortions aren’t covered by insurance unless the parent’s life is in danger, and mine technically wasn’t. I assume it was covered on a technicality, which is that at one point during my hospital stay, they couldn’t find a heartbeat, so it was billed as an evacuation. Otherwise, it would have cost $36,000.
6. MILWAUKEE: KRYSTAL, 30
After my consultation, I had to wait another week because they didn’t have any appointments. Luckily,
I live in Milwaukee, one of the few places in the state that actually has a clinic in it.
7. MANHATTAN: GRACE, 32
Planned Parenthood gave me a one-month waiting
period before there were appointments in any of the five boroughs. So I went on Zocdoc and found a gynecology practice near my office. I got a lovely
$9,000 bill that my insurance claims it’s not covering.