It’s also important to remember that when people aren’t able to access abortion when they need it, they are often pushed much further into pregnancy. “This increase costs exponentially,” says Ghosh. “For many, the increased financial burden will push abortion care completely out of reach.”

Nicole, whose insurance plan wouldn’t cover her abortion at the time she spoke to SELF, was just barely able to scrape together enough money by splitting the cost with her boyfriend. Her best advice when it comes to paying for your abortion? “Don’t wait to make your appointment until you have the money,” Nicole says. “Make the appointment, ask how much it is, and you can figure it out from there.” Dr. Minkin agrees. “Once you have decided on an abortion, do start working on scheduling things as soon as you can,” she says. If you wait until you have the funds, you may not be able to get an appointment until you’re already past the window of time when you can legally get an abortion in your state or neighboring states.

10. Make a plan to take care of yourself afterward.

Plan to take it as easy as possible for a few days following your abortion if you can. Many people will potentially experience side effects like cramping, bleeding, and fatigue after either kind of abortion, Dr. Streicher says, and a medication abortion may also cause potential side effects like chills, fever, nausea, and vomiting, per ACOG. “We tell people to expect that, for 24 hours, you might have some cramping, like severe menstrual cramping,” Dr. Streicher says. “Sometimes bleeding will continue for a week or so.”

Stocking up on items like pads, heating pads, and over-the-counter pain relievers can help, Dr. Minkin says. “Alter your exercise regimen a bit,” she adds. “Although you certainly can walk around, don’t plan on a workout at the gym. Do ask your provider when they would suggest you get back to regular exercising. Most will say about a week.”

Here’s more information about exactly what might be helpful when you’re recovering from an abortion, including any red flags, like excess bleeding, that signal you should call a doctor. Talk to your medical providers about all of this too.

“I received a concierge level of information from the doctors and nurses about what was going to happen, what to expect, and what to know about something going wrong,” Nicole says. “The doctor, nurses, and staff really handheld me.”

It’s a national disgrace that what is at its core a safe and effective routine health care service became an unnecessarily complicated ordeal due to the logistical barriers that stood in Nicole’s way. “It took so much planning and making appointments and confirming them. All that money and time,” she says. “And it was around the holidays…. That stuff piles up.”

Even with the advantages she had—background knowledge of how things worked in her state thanks to her volunteer work, a supportive partner and friends, a car, financial means, and a flexible work schedule—Nicole, like so many did even pre-Roe, had to jump through far too many hoops to make the right decision for herself and her future.


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