Does Medicare Cover Abortions?
The majority of abortions in the United States are paid for out of pocket, but some abortions may be covered by private health insurance or state Medicaid programs. The procedure is not covered by Medicare.
Medicaid provides access to health care for low-income individuals. While federal law does not require states to provide abortion coverage, some state Medicaid programs do.
States that may pay for Medicaid-covered abortions include: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Medicaid coverage may also be available in certain counties or cities in Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, and Ohio.
There may be restrictions for second-trimester abortions, depending on state law.
Medicaid coverage may depend on the pregnancy's stage, as well as other factors, such as the age of the woman, her relationship to the fetus's father, and whether the pregnancy is considered a high-risk pregnancy.
Calculate your health insurance costs at HealthInsurance.org.
How many abortions are performed each year in the U.S.?
Approximately 1.06 million abortions were performed in the U.S. in 2015, according to the Guttmacher Institute. That's down from 1.14 million abortions in 2014.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calculates the number of abortions by state and year based on information from state health departments.
Since 1973, when the U.S. Supreme Court decided in Roe v. Wade that a woman has a constitutional right to choose to terminate a pregnancy, more than 53 million legal abortions have taken place in the U.S.
Approximately 13.6 abortions occur per 1,000 women aged 15–44, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
In the U.S., about 32 percent of pregnancies (excluding miscarriages) end in abortion, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
What are the different types of abortions?
Abortion is typically defined as the removal of an embryo or fetus from the uterus.
In the first trimester, a vacuum aspiration is used to remove the embryo or fetus.
In the second trimester, dilation and evacuation is used. This involves using surgical instruments to remove the embryo or fetus and its surrounding membranes.
Abortions in the third trimester are usually performed using dilation and evacuation (D&E). A D&E may be done from the vagina, or through the abdominal wall with small incisions.
In the U.S., the majority of abortions (about 65 percent) take place in the first trimester, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
Abortion is a safe procedure with very few complications. The mortality rates of abortion and childbirth are similar.
In the U.S., the mortality rate associated with childbirth is approximately 12 deaths per 100,000 live births. The mortality rate associated with abortion is 0.6 deaths per 100,000 procedures.
In the U.S., about 11 percent of abortions are performed at 16 weeks or later in the pregnancy.
In the U.S., the abortion rate for black women is about 3.6 times higher than the rate for white women.
What is the most common reason for having an abortion?
The most common reason for having an abortion in the United States is concern for, or responsibility to, other individuals.
Other common reasons include the following:
The pregnancy was a result of rape or incest
The woman's physical or mental health was endangered by the pregnancy
The fetus had a health problem
The woman had financial problems
The woman had a hard time deciding
The woman was young and hadn't completed her education
Source: the Guttmacher Institute
did you know?
Research has found that the most common reasons for abortion are similar in developed and developing countries.
Women in developed countries cite concerns about their own health and well-being as well as their responsibility to other individuals.
Women in developing countries often cite concerns about insufficient resources and stigma.
Did you know?
The most common reason for abortion in the United States is concern for, or responsibility to, other individuals, which accounts for 41 percent of all abortions.
Concern for or responsibility to other individuals includes:
A desire to have children at a later time
The desire to complete educational goals
The inability to afford a child
The belief that having a child would interfere with work
The desire to have a child with a new partner
The belief that having a child would interfere with personal freedom
The belief that someone else (such as the fetus's father) would not be a responsible parent
The belief that having a child would interfere with personal health
The belief that a pregnancy would cause someone to lose a job
The belief that having a child would interfere with relationship (such as with a boyfriend, partner, or spouse)
The belief that having a child would interfere with future educational or career plans
The belief that a pregnancy would cause someone to lose a relationship with an important person in their life
The belief that the pregnancy would be a result of rape or incest
Is abortion legal?
Abortion is legal in the United States.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1973 in Roe v. Wade that a woman has a constitutional right to choose to terminate a pregnancy.
The Court stated that a woman's right to privacy “is broad enough to encompass a woman's decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.”
It also stated that “the State has an interest in protecting