What is Abortion Tourism?  

Woman sitting on hospital bed

With Roe v. Wade being overturned, abortion tourism is already becoming a topic of conversation in the media. Real women facing unplanned pregnancies will need to understand what is meant by this new catch phrase.

Abortion Tourism

Abortion tourism refers to the practice of traveling across state lines to obtain an abortion in the event that some or all abortion procedures may not be available in a woman’s state of residence. Abortion tourism occurs for a number of reasons:

  • In some cases, the abortion clinic(s) in closest proximity are across state lines.
  • Some states have prohibited abortions, while bordering states may offer abortions throughout the entire pregnancy.
  • Some states have prohibited certain types of abortions while other states have allowed them, so women travel to get the type of abortion they want.

Abortion Policy

A state’s abortion policy has an impact on abortion tourism. It’s important to note that abortion has not become illegal in the United States. In addition to knowing critical information about her pregnancy, it will also be important for a woman to know her state’s laws.

Now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned, states will make their own decisions about abortion. It is likely no two states will look exactly same. What can we expect as a result of different state laws?

  • Women who live in states that have banned abortions will need to be proactive in receiving a pre-abortion screening to determine if an abortion is necessary. (Usually access to these screenings is readily available, and often, there is no cost for these services.)
  • States with abortion clinics may be overwhelmed, and it may take longer to get an appointment.
  • Women seeking abortions will need to research more carefully what procedures they would be eligible to receive; centers that provide pregnancy options information will become more vital than ever before.

Even though state laws differ throughout the country, states where abortion is not available will still be providing treatment for ectopic (tubal) pregnancy and miscarriage. These states also have exceptions for incest, rape, and life of the mother.

How Abortion Tourism is Dangerous

Abortion tourism comes with consequences.

Just like any medical or surgical procedure, abortion comes with inherent risks. Following a medical (pill) or surgical abortion, risks can include incomplete abortion, blood clots, heavy bleeding, complications from anesthesia, pelvic infection, perforation of the uterus, and torn cervix. These complications can arise during travel home or after you’ve arrived home – when you are many miles from the provider who performed the procedure. It is in your best interest to schedule, and keep, a follow-up appointment with the abortion provider after receiving a medical or surgical abortion. At Willowbrook Women’s Center, we believe that all women deserve to be equipped with facts in order to make informed decisions when facing an unplanned pregnancy. Facing an unplanned pregnancy? Schedule an appointment at our Cameron or St. Joseph, MO, location today.