Why Waiting Periods Before Abortion Are Not Necessary [ Part II]

Recently updated on February 3rd, 2023 at 06:08 am

Why-Waiting-Periods-Before-Abortion-Are-Not-Necessary-[ Part II]

Continuing from the last blog, here is why a waiting period [ which is imposed mandatorily by a few state laws] is not only unnecessary but is harmful to women to access abortive services as well.

The harm in mandatorily requiring more than one trip to the healthcare setting

While many states don’t impose this, some have an in-person meeting requirement. This means that the women having abortions – by MTP Kit or by surgery, have to make numerous trips to the hospital.  Women who have to take more trips to a clinic may face higher costs, complicated logistics, and delays in care.

Due to such laws that enforce medically needless trips to the clinic, women face various troubles. These problems include encountering logistical challenges, expenses of childcare, travel, lodging expense [ if the clinic is not closed], etc. Therefore, these costs may especially act as a barrier to low-income women. Ironically, these low-income women are the group that experiences the highest rate of unplanned/ unwanted pregnancies.

The added difficulties of logistics and prices can lead to a delay in obtaining access to medical attention. In fact, 3 in 5 patients surveyed experienced delay and reported the time it took to gather funds and make arrangements contributed to the delay.

Meanwhile, recent research in Utah’s in-person counseling law found that there is a 72- hours waiting period. Which on average meant 8 days between counseling and procedure for women who sought pregnancy termination.

Because of long waiting periods and other obstructions, many women buy abortion pill online for quicker access and cheaper treatment.

Delay in care due to waiting periods:

Waiting periods also result in a delay in obtaining medical attention. This can cause an issue as both the risk and cost of an abortion increases as the gestation period increases.

Abortive patients who lived in a state [ where waiting periods are mandatory] waited 1 to ½ days longer compared to patients from other states.

Meanwhile, three studies carried out in Mississippi in the 90’s found that state-imposed in-person counseling and one-day waiting period requirement were associated with a decrease in the rate of abortion, an increase in pregnancy terminations out of state, and a rise in the proportion of abortions in the second trimester.

Aborting procedures in later terms typically cost more than the one in earlier gestational stages. One can easily buy abortion pills and terminate pregnancy cost-effectively without surgical intervention. For instance, procedures at around 10 weeks cost $500 approximately compared to more than $1,500 for around 20 weeks gestation.

In recent research, more than half of the patients wished they could have gotten the pregnancy terminated sooner.

The increase in risk of complication [ even if it’s magnificently low at this point] increases with gestational age. The number of maternal deaths associated with pregnancy increases as the time it takes to obtain the procedure.

Therefore, poor women seeking abortion are caught in this vicious cycle. The longer they wait- the harder it is for them to afford it, all the while, health risk also increases with time.

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