Dedicated to the highest quality of patient care, Choices Women’s Medical Center offers abortion services to 24 weeks, in addition to a full range of gynecological testing and treatment. Women now find themselves having to travel significant distances for abortion services. There are several reasons why. More states are implementing abortion waiting periods. All of Choices services for out of state patients are completely confidential.
There is also the fact that higher numbers of more restrictive abortion laws are being passed. As a result, large areas are without needed abortion resources, forcing women to cross these sometimes vast “abortion deserts” to get the services they need.
“Medical Refugees” Becoming More Common
When any person needing medical care is forced to leave their home state for the purpose of accessing a legal procedure that’s not accessible otherwise, they are referred to as a “medical refugee.” These individuals are growing in number all over the country.
For example, because of clinic closures in Indiana and Ohio, Michigan is the closest option, requiring women to travel between 283 and 304 miles out of state.
The Cost of Traveling
Women needing to travel for abortion services can face a slew of costs that go beyond the typical $500 needed for the procedure. For example, a woman will need to cover the costs of fuel to get access to abortion options at a clinic out of state.
If the clinic is several hours away, as so many are, she will also need to take time off from her job, as well as find childcare for her existing children in order to be able to obtain needed services since around 60% of women seeking an abortion have already given birth one time.
As well, if she cannot fly but needs to travel a great distance, an abortion patient will have to travel by road via bus or train, which can add several days to her total travel time out of state. If the distance is too great to travel to and from in a single day, a patient will also have to pay for a hotel room in addition to the procedure and other costs.
Why Getting an Abortion Is Now Harder in Some States
Abortions are harder to obtain in some states due to the implementation of restrictive laws. These laws require mandatory delays for abortion clinic openings and a delay in the continued operation of existing clinics until certain requirements have been met.
These requirements force clinics to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers. Clinics in several states must also ensure their physicians have admitting privileges at hospitals located nearby.
Because the requirements are very strict and the cost to meet them can be significant, many clinics that cannot shoulder the costs have instead been forced to close their doors. The more clinics that close, the longer that women must wait for the abortion care they need. With current wait times topping 72 hours, the accessibility of other states becomes that much more of a reason to get abortion services over state lines.
What Is the Rate of Clinic Closures?
The Los Angeles Times in a recent article on the subject of abortion services reported some surprising numbers where abortion clinic closures were concerned. It stated that in just three years, the state of Texas closed 22 abortion clinics.1 Several other states are also facing the closure of their abortion clinics, including Wisconsin, Kansas, and Michigan.
An Added Inconvenience
In addition to forcing abortion patients to travel long distances out of state to receive services, another unfortunate by-product of clinic closures is the fact that physicians are also forced to travel to provide those services because of the fact that so many women are arriving at these clinics from out of state.
Abortion Laws in the State of New York
New York State has far fewer barriers to terminating pregnancy than other states, and no parental consent is required.
There is no waiting period before obtaining an abortion in New York, nor is there a need for the state to approve the procedure. For women who qualify, walk-in abortions are covered by New York State Medicaid.
What to Expect for an Abortion in New York
When a woman chooses a clinic in New York for abortion services, she has the protection of the New York State legislature, whose goal is to ensure that abortions are as safe as possible for the patient. Doctors performing abortions are encouraged by law to exercise as much diligence as possible to ensure patient safety.
Choices is one of the few women’s clinic that offer abortions to 24 weeks of pregnancy in accordance with New York State Law.
Help for Out of State Patients
Some abortion clinics in New York not only assist women from out of state but also help women from other countries to get abortion services. For example, Choices Women’s Medical Center will accept Medicaid from New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, and Maryland, subject to verification, and also offer abortion services to women from Barbados, Puerto Rico, and Bermuda so they may obtain the abortion services they require. Most forms of insurance are also accepted.
Women getting an abortion in another state can also get assistance with finding no cost or affordable overnight stays via arrangements made for discounted hotel rates.
Access to the Haven Coalition’s volunteer network allows women who provide advance notice to stay at a volunteer’s home, as well as help arrange for someone to accompany a patient to their appointment.
In addition to crossing political and geographical boundaries, clinics like Choices also offer financial assistance to low-income patients through a partnership with several agencies.
Before, After, and Ongoing Care
A counseling session with a licensed clinical social worker is included with every patient appointment. This is done to ensure every patient is aware of their options, and it also educates patients about what to expect from the procedure, with the goal of reducing anxiety.
After the procedure, there are a number of options available to prevent additional pregnancies. Included in these options are IUD insertion post-procedure, as well as Plan B and safer sex options to prevent pregnancy and the spread of STIs.
Ongoing care for all gynecological concerns, as well as testing and treatment, are also offered on a completely non-judgmental basis.
Complete Confidentiality and Accreditation
All of the services offered by Choices are completely confidential, regardless of patient age. In addition, because no prior consent or notification is needed to obtain our services, we can complete patient applications for emergency Medicaid, allowing us to provide same or next-day pregnancy-related services.
Choices meets the high standards set forth by the American Association of Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) for safe abortion and is licensed by the State of New York as an outpatient medical facility. We have also been awarded by education and community organization for the free classes and workshops on important health issues that we offer.
Women seeking abortion services at Choices Women’s Medical Center receive full-service healthcare that’s both compassionate and truthful. We also offer walk-in and same-day services for all manner of women’s health care. For more information about the services we offer, call (718) 786-5000.