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Is It Legal to Travel Out of State to Get an Abortion?



Is It Legal to Travel Out of State to Get an Abortion


In 1973, the case of Roe v. Wade ensured that there was protection for abortions, and even though it was complete protection and it wasn’t a perfect solution, it did mean that those looking to end a pregnancy could do so at a professional clinic close to home. However, in June 2022, Roe v. Wade was overturned by the US Supreme Court, which meant that everything became a lot more uncertain, and now what was once legal was no longer something people had access to.

This has meant that many women want to know if they can travel to a different state to get an abortion if their own state no longer allows it (or perhaps never did). This is a fair question and a simple one to answer initially; yes, it is legal to travel out of state to obtain an abortion – although some states have tried (and failed) to enact laws that criminalize women for going to different states for the procedure. However, although that is the easy answer, there are several caveats you’ll need to consider. Read on to find out what some of them are.

How Far Along Are You?

If you want to look into getting an abortion, you’ll need to know how far along in your pregnancy you are. Knowing this will determine where you can go for your abortion since different states have different limits. For example, whereas Kentucky or Texas has banned abortions altogether, even if rape or incest is involved, others, such as Florida and North Carolina, allow abortion up to a particular ‘gestational age’ (in the case of Florida, this is 15 weeks, and in North Carolina, it is 20 weeks).

Therefore, the best thing to do is to speak to a doctor to get an official determination of exactly how far along the pregnancy is so you can make the right choice when it comes to choosing a state to travel to for an abortion.

You May Need Counseling

No matter where you are in the world, most abortion specialists will offer counseling to women, like this abortion clinic Sydney has in operation does; counseling is an important part of the procedure and is there to provide emotional and mental support for the woman, before and after the abortion in many cases.

Some US states in which abortion is legal will require people to have special counseling before the procedure takes place. If this has to be done in person, you’ll need to be sure you can travel to the state with the time to do this; a doctor won’t sign off on the procedure unless it has been carried out.

However, in some cases, this counseling can be done through a video call or perhaps a phone call, meaning less travel is required. Again, this should factor into your decision-making, especially if you would have to take time off work or organize childcare in order to travel.

Some states will also add a mandatory waiting period to the end of that counseling, which could be anything from twenty-four to seventy-two hours. Again, this could impact which states you are able to visit and how much time you’ll need.

Consider Your Travel Arrangements

The one thing that every out-of-state medical procedure will require is traveling, so you’ll have to work out how you will get to where you need to go. This may cost money, particularly if you are flying, and with the cost of the abortion on top of this, it could become prohibitively expensive if you’ve not factored in all the costs.

Make sure to draw up a list of all the potential places you could go to and add up how much each procedure would cost there, along with travel costs. In this way, you can see which would fit into your budget.