Study Finally Reveals How Long It Takes for Women to Get Abortions

This article was originally published at Revelist.

There's finally an answer for one of the world's most-burning questions: How long does it take for a woman to get an abortion? An eye-opening Guttmacher Institute study found that after women make their appointments, the average wait time is one week, or 7.6 days, to terminate their pregnancies.

The landmark study is the first of its kind, according to lead researcher Rachel K. Jones. 

"This is the first study to use national data to examine how long abortion patients had to wait for an appointment," Jones told Revelist. "Prior to this analysis, we only had a few studies of anomalous states (Texas and Utah). Because abortion is a time-sensitive procedure, it is somewhat reassuring that most patients were able to get in within a week." 

The study found that 76% of the patients surveyed were able to get an abortion within a week, and only 7% of women waited two weeks. 

There's also a small pocket of women that must wait longer than two weeks, and that's who the researchers are most concerned about.

Woman carrying a hanger to protest abortion waiting times


There are 28 states, including Texas, Oklahoma, and Florida, that require women to wait at least 24 hours between making an abortion appointment and having the procedure done. This prevents many women from having abortions, according to Jones. She said removing this waiting time will increase access to abortion, especially in Texas, where women are driving upwards of an hour to terminate their pregnancies.

"Removing these waiting periods would facilitate quicker access to abortion care," Jones told Revelist via email. " She added that clinics are doing their best to circumvent these undue burdens. "It’s important to recognize that wait times at many clinics are very reasonable because of all the hard work that abortion providers do," Jones said. 

Giving women insurance that covers abortion would also help increase access.

"Women who relied on financial assistance — typically provided in the form of subsidies or discounts — to pay for the procedure made their appointments about two days longer ago than women who paid out of pocket or used their insurance," Jones said. "If more women had insurance that paid for the procedure, this, too, could facilitate quicker access care."

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 photo: Twitter/LawestMedia

Given the Supreme Court's recent ruling that shut down Texas' invasive House Bill 2, studying how undue burden impacts women is more important than ever.

At least there's good news within this study: "[The study] suggests that providers are doing a good job and that most women can expect timely access to care," Jones said.

This article was originally published at Revelist.

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