A new brief from the UW Collaborative for Reproductive Equity (CORE) outlines the costs of seeking an abortion for Wisconsinites in the post-Roe landscape.
In the brief, CORE estimates the total cost to obtain an abortion for three example Wisconsin patients traveling to reproductive healthcare centers offering abortion care in neighboring states. In each scenario, the costs exceeded $1,000, presenting significant hardship for many Wisconsinites.
Research shows that financial barriers are one of the most frequently cited reasons people can’t access abortion services.
Abortion in Wisconsin is no longer available since the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturned the abortion access protections of Roe v. Wade. Wisconsin reverted to an 1849 law that makes providing abortion a felony crime. The Wisconsin Attorney General has filed a lawsuit asking the court to rule whether the 1849 law is enforceable. In the meantime, Wisconsin’s abortion clinics no longer provide abortion services.
For most of the state population, the nearest reproductive healthcare centers offering abortion care are in or near Chicago, IL, Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN, Duluth, MN, and Marquette, MI.
Traveling to these clinics requires additional planning, time, and healthcare systems navigation — and generates additional costs. These expenses will make it harder, if not impossible, for many Wisconsinites to access abortion care.
- Nearly 40% of adults in the United States could not cover an unexpected $400 expense without going into debt.
- One study showed that the costs of just the abortion itself would be catastrophic for the average Wisconsin household.
- Due to many structural factors, the people most in need of abortion care disproportionately experience poverty and financial scarcity.
- Research documents that 75% of abortion patients have low incomes.