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What to consider when traveling for an abortion

No matter where you live, there are options for accessing abortion care—here's what you need to know, from average cost to what to pack.

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Abortion is essential health care, and it should be accessible to everyone. However, even before Roe v. Wade was overturned, people have had to travel to other states for abortion care—and it has only gotten worse since the Dobbs decision in 2022. In the first half of 2023, nearly 1 in 5 people who needed abortions had to travel for care—up from 1 in 10 people in 2020.

Can you still travel out of state to get an abortion? Yes! It’s not against the law to travel for an out-of-state abortion, and a new federal rule helps keep patient information private—even if the patient traveled to receive care. 

Although abortion funds and practical support organizations can help with costs of abortion care, and sometimes also related costs such as transportation, hotel accommodations, or child care, traveling isn’t an option for everyone. If traveling for an out-of-state abortion is an option for you, here’s what you need to know to start planning.

How far along are you?

When deciding whether and where to travel for abortion care, knowing how many weeks pregnant you are is important. First, it narrows down what states may be right to travel to for out-of-state abortions. Second, it helps you understand what options may be available in other states. The best way to know your options, including what state might be the easiest to travel to, is through a trustworthy search tool like I Need an A or Abortion Finder.

The two types of abortions are medication and procedural. Both are extremely safe and effective:

  • Medication abortion, which involves the use of two medications, mifepristone and misoprostol. Most clinics, including telemedicine ones, offer medication abortion through 10 weeks of pregnancy. Some in-person clinics offer medication abortion through 13 weeks.
  • Procedural abortion, which involves in-clinic appointments where pregnancy tissue is removed using medical instruments. States vary in the extent to which they impose gestational age limits on procedural abortions; they also vary in the extent to which they have clinics that provide procedural abortion care through the permitted gestational age limits. 

Hey Jane is a telemedicine clinic that supports people having medication abortions (via abortion pills) through 10 weeks of pregnancy in: 

You don’t have to be a resident of one of these states to access medication abortion through telemedicine from within that state. If you live in a state where abortion is restricted or banned, traveling to one of the states Hey Jane serves may be an option for you. You can start your consultation as soon as you are located within one of these states. After your order has been approved, you can schedule it to ship to any convenient address within that state–whether it’s a hotel, AirBnb, someone else’s house, a PO Box, or via general delivery at a local post office.

Which state should you travel to for an abortion? 

The best state to travel to for abortion care depends on: 

  • Where you’re located
  • How many weeks pregnant you are
  • What states with access are the easiest to travel to
  • What other restrictions you may face while traveling for care
  • What financial assistance may be available to you

I Need an A filters results based not only on the closest clinics, but also the ones that are logistically easiest to travel to. It also includes resources for financial assistance for care (such as abortion funds), travel, and other logistical support needs.

If you’re interested in telemedicine medication abortion and you live near one of the states Hey Jane serves, traveling to one of those states may be a good option for you. Our state guides round up information on the laws in the states served by Hey Jane.

How much does an abortion cost?

The costs of abortion care vary by clinic, abortion type, whether or not your insurance covers it, and whether or not you’re able to get financial assistance from an abortion fund or practical support organization. 

The national average for medication abortion is $580. For procedural abortions in the first trimester, the national average is $600. In the second and third trimesters, the average ranges from $715 to thousands of dollars. You can learn more about how much abortion costs in specific states here.

How to pay for an abortion

There are several options for paying for abortion care.


Most private insurance plans in California, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington are required to cover abortion care. State Medicaid coverage is available for abortion care under certain circumstances in Alaska, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. Hey Jane is the first fully virtual abortion clinic to accept insurance, including plans from Aetna, Cigna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and more.


For some people, paying out of pocket may be the easiest, most discreet, or only option. Hey Jane is committed to making care as accessible as possible, and we offer a sliding scale based on each patient’s financial situation, as well as the option to use Apple Pay Later (which breaks up the cost of treatment into four smaller payments over six weeks with 0% interest, so there is a smaller up-front cost). Hey Jane also accepts HSA/FSA funds; however, these options are not true self-pay because they are administered through group health plans and therefore do not offer as much privacy as true self-pay.

Financial assistance

Many clinics partner with abortion funds and practical support organizations to help with costs of abortion care and practical support (e.g., travel, accommodations, childcare, lost wages). If you’re traveling for in-person care, let the clinic know when scheduling your appointment that you need financial assistance. They will refer you to their partner funds and practical support organizations.

Hey Jane partners with the following abortion funds and practical support organizations:

Hey Jane’s clinical care team suggests reaching out to a larger fund, like the National Abortion Federation’s National Abortion Hotline, when traveling for care if financial assistance is particularly time sensitive. Local organizations may have very small teams managing large caseloads, so they may not be able to return messages immediately. 

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Should you bring someone with you when you travel for an abortion?

Having a support person with you when you travel for care depends on the circumstances and your preferences. Some clinics may allow you to bring a companion with you to appointments. If you travel for in-person care and decide to undergo sedation for pain management, you’ll need someone to help you get back to where you’re staying. Your ability to drive will be impacted by the sedatives.

Sedatives are not necessary for medication abortion. However, having a support person by your side can be helpful. If you don’t have someone you trust or can rely on to support you, you may be able to get virtual or in-person doula support. If you’re traveling to an in-person clinic for a medication abortion, you can ask them if they partner with doulas or other organizations that offer companion support.

Hey Jane patients have access to virtual clinician support and our private community before, during, and after treatment.

Planning for travel, accommodations, and time off work

Abortion funds and practical support organizations may be able to help you cover travel and accommodation costs. How long you should prepare to travel depends on how you’re accessing care, where you’re accessing care, and how many weeks pregnant you are.

Medication abortion

Medication abortions are 2-3 day processes. On day 1, you’ll take mifepristone (the first medication) at the clinic or wherever you’re staying. 

There are two ways to take misoprostol (the second medication): vaginally or by mouth (in the cheeks or under the tongue). If you take misoprostol vaginally—which is not recommended in states with abortion restrictions—you can do that as soon as six hours after taking mifepristone to maximize effectiveness. If you’re taking misoprostol by mouth, you’ll need to wait 24-48 hours after taking mifepristone. 

The most intense cramping and bleeding will typically happen in the 24 hours after taking misoprostol. So, it’s important to factor those 24 hours, at least, into your travel plans. Hey Jane's clinical care team suggests not taking misoprostol on the same day you’re planning a flight or a long car ride. If you do have to travel within 24 hours of taking misoprostol, wearing an adult diaper can help you contain bleeding.

How to have abortion pills shipped to your destination:

  • If you’re shipping medication to a hotel, Hey Jane providers recommend asking at the front desk about any additional information that’s needed for a delivery, such as a request to hold the package at the desk or including a room number. Know that the packaging from Hey Jane is very discreet, without our logo or branding on it.
  • If you’re shipping medication to someone else’s house, include “c/o” (care of) with the leaseholder or owner’s last name to make sure it’s deliverable.
  • Cushion your timeline as much as possible, because 24 hours won’t be enough time to go through a consultation and receive medication. Once Hey Jane receives your request, a clinician will review it within 1 business day. If you’re approved for care, your prescription will be submitted to Hey Jane’s mail-order pharmacy partner, Honeybee. You can choose from standard (3-5 business days) or next-day (1-2 business days) shipping.

Procedural abortion

If you’re in your first trimester (through week 12 of pregnancy), the procedure will be a 5-10 minute process completed in one appointment. However, some states require two visits with a waiting period between them. Because of this, it’s sometimes worth traveling to a less restrictive state if it means you can complete the process faster without a waiting period.

If you’re in your second or third trimester, the procedure is more likely to be a two- or three-day process. 

When considering how long to book travel for, it’s important to think about not only the length of the procedure itself, but also, if possible, an overnight stay after the procedure.

Asking for time off from work or school

You can choose to share or not share whatever you’re comfortable with regarding your abortion. While it’s legal to travel for abortion care, no one has the right to know about your private health information. You can simply say you need to take time off for a medical procedure or a family emergency. No more details are required.

You also don’t need to share specifics about your need to travel with your Hey Jane provider. As long as you’re in a state Hey Jane serves for your consultation and treatment, you can receive care.

There’s no need to tell any health care providers back home about your abortion if you’re uncomfortable doing so. If you took misoprostol by mouth, there will be no way to tell you used medication to end your pregnancy. In the unlikely event that follow-up care is needed or a past pregnancy is relevant for future care, you can simply describe your symptoms, as they are the same for miscarriage. Any necessary follow-up treatment would be the same for an abortion as it would be a miscarriage.

How to prepare for a medication abortion away from home

If you’re traveling for an out-of-state abortion, Hey Jane’s clinical care team recommends packing (or picking up before you start treatment) the following things:

  • Comfortable clothes
  • Light snacks and prepared foods (especially if there’s no restaurant at your hotel)
  • Large water bottles and beverage with electrolytes
  • Heavy protection/overnight maxi pads
  • A heating pad, hot water bottle, or washcloth to run under hot water
  • Comfort medications for pain relief and nausea, like ibuprofen and motion-sickness medications (Hey Jane packages include over-the-counter pain medications and anti-nausea medications)

When completing a medication abortion, it’s always good to know where the nearest emergency room is located. While complications are very rare, it’s important to understand what your options are if any warning signs do arise.

Need abortion care? If one of the states Hey Jane’s virtual clinic serves is accessible to you, learn more about our process and how you can get fast, safe, and discreet abortion care with us.

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Written by

Sarah duRivage-Jacobs (MPH)

Sarah duRivage-Jacobs is a New York-based writer and editor of words dealing with reproductive health and abortion access. She received her Masters of Public Health degree in Community Health.

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