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Who needs abortion later in pregnancy in the United States, and why?

What are the delays that cause people to seek abortion care later in pregnancy? It is not always possible for a person to get an abortion as soon as they would like to. Many things can stand in their way of early abortion care, including not knowing about and/or having access to services; personal, financial, and other circumstances; and structural and legal issues like state bans on insurance coverage. Reasons why an individual may need an abortion after the first trimester include delays in finding out they are pregnant, needing time to decide what to do about an unintended pregnancy, difficulties accessing care due to trouble finding or traveling to a provider, and needing the time to raise money to pay for the procedure or make travel arrangements to a provider in a distant location. These factors often cause a chain reaction in which delay leads to increased barriers, because as the pregnancy progresses, the costs of the abortion procedure increase while the availability of services decreases. Additionally, some individuals seek abortions in the second trimester or later after developing a serious health problem or learning about a genetic or health condition in the developing fetus, as many of these conditions cannot be accurately diagnosed until later in pregnancy. Abortions performed due to maternal and/or fetal indicators are a small percentage of the abortions done later in pregnancy.


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