Abortion

Abortion Access During COVID-19

Abortion services are still available to all patients seeking care. Patients seeking a medical abortion may be able to receive their medicine by mail without visiting their doctor. For help getting services, see the “Find a Provider” section below.


Abortion is a safe, common health care service to end a pregnancy. In the U.S., one in four women will have an abortion before the age of 45.

Abortion is legal in all 50 states. However, some states have different laws about how far along a pregnancy can be to have an abortion. In New York, you can get an abortion at up to 24 weeks of pregnancy. After 24 weeks, you can still get an abortion if your health is at risk or your pregnancy will not survive. Other places, such as Colorado and Washington, DC, can also provide abortion services after 24 weeks of pregnancy for any reason.

Any person who can get pregnant — including transgender men, non-binary people and people of any gender — can have an abortion.

The decision to have an abortion is a personal one. No one should pressure you to have or not have an abortion.

Find a Provider

You can get an abortion at many health centers in New York City. Before your appointment, research your clinic and provider carefully.

For help finding a provider who does abortions:

Avoid Fake Clinics

There are anti-abortion facilities — sometimes called crisis pregnancy centers or pregnancy resource centers — that try to stop people from getting abortions.

These fake clinics often:

  • Imitate health clinics by using names, banners and signs that are similar to real clinics.
  • Are located near health clinics that provide abortions.
  • Are funded by religious groups opposed to abortion.
  • Provide false information about abortion to pregnant people.
  • Try to mislead people about how many weeks they have been pregnant.
  • Claim to offer free counseling, pregnancy tests and ultrasounds.

Fake clinics do not provide abortions. Since they are not licensed health care providers, these facilities are not required by law to keep your personal information private.

New York City law requires these facilities to post a sign in English and Spanish that states they do not have a medical provider on site and do not provide abortion care. If you encounter a fake clinic without this sign posted in English and Spanish, file a complaint online or by calling 311.

Learn more about fake clinics in NYC:

Payment and Support Resources

Health insurance, including Medicaid, may cover the cost of an abortion. If you are pregnant, you may have special health insurance options. Contact your health insurer to find out what your plan covers.

You may be eligible for New York State Medicaid to cover your abortion procedure. Pregnant New Yorkers can qualify for Medicaid at higher income levels. Find out whether you qualify for Medicaid, or call the NY State of Health Official Health Plan Marketplace at 855-355-5777 for more information.

Some medical offices can check if you qualify for Medicaid at the time of your appointment. If you qualify, they can also enroll you, with coverage starting that day. Before your appointment, ask your medical office if they are a Medicaid enrollment site. Be sure to ask if they require a photo ID or other documents.

As with any other medical procedure, an abortion can be expensive if you do not have insurance coverage.

If you need help paying for your appointment, visit:

If you need help with travel or lodging costs related to your appointment:

Types of Abortions

There are two types of abortions — medication and procedural.

Your provider may recommend a certain abortion type based on your preference, your medical history and the number of weeks since your last menstrual period.

Medication

This option, also called a medical abortion, involves taking two medicines — misoprostol and mifepristone.

  • Process: You take the first set of pills at the provider’s office and the second set at home. The pills cause cramping and vaginal bleeding, similar to a heavy period.
  • Timing: You can get pills at up to 10 weeks of pregnancy. They can be used after 10 weeks, but the earlier you take them, the more effective they are.
  • Effectiveness: This method is 91% to 98% effective at ending a pregnancy.
  • Side effects: These are usually mild and last between a couple of days and two weeks. They can include cramping, spot bleeding and nausea/vomiting. If you are having more severe side effects, call your provider immediately.

Procedural

This option, also called “in-clinic abortion”, is an outpatient procedure, which means you can return home after it is over.

  • Process: The type of procedure used is based on how long you have been pregnant. The most common type involves widening the cervix and using gentle suction to remove pregnancy tissue. This procedure is quick and usually takes 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Timing: Depending on the specific procedure, you can receive a procedural abortion from five weeks since your last period.
  • Effectiveness: This method is more than 99% effective at ending a pregnancy.
  • Side effects: These are usually mild and last up to two weeks. They may include cramping, bleeding, spot bleeding and vaginal discharge. If you are having more severe side effects, call your provider immediately.

Additional Resources

More Information