How Much Does the Abortion Pill Cost?

A medication abortion can cost up to $800, but it frequently costs less and is accessible online with a prescription.
Cara Smith
By Cara Smith 
Updated
Edited by Rick VanderKnyff

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Updated on June 14, 2024, with the most recent information and statistics.

The abortion pill can cost upwards of $800, according to Planned Parenthood, though it often costs less. Some insurance plans cover the cost of medication abortion, which is shorthand for a medication abortion and actually involves two pills taken separately.

Approved by the Food and Drug Administration and available through mail, medication abortions now represent more than half of all U.S. abortions, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a non-governmental research and policy organization. But since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022, access to abortions in the United States has been severely restricted.

In June 2024, the Supreme Court rejected a challenge to the FDA’s approval of mifepristone, the medication commonly prescribed in medication abortions in the U.S. The court’s rejection of the lawsuit, FDA v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, found that the plaintiffs lacked standing to bring the challenge and upheld access to mifepristone.

How much does the abortion pill cost?

The abortion pill can cost as much as $800, but often costs less, depending on a myriad of factors including where you live and whether your insurance covers certain health care.

At Planned Parenthood, medication abortions cost an average of $580. Meanwhile, GoodRX, a health care and telemedicine company, states that a medication abortion typically costs more than $500 without insurance.

How does the abortion pill work?

The abortion pill, or a medication abortion, is straightforward and noninvasive and can be completed at home.

You take two FDA-approved medications: first mifepristone, and then misoprostol. Another regimen, which just involves taking misoprostol, is offered by some U.S. telehealth companies but isn’t yet approved by the FDA.

Taking mifepristone and misoprostol

The first pill, mifepristone, blocks the hormone progesterone, which is required for the pregnancy to continue progressing. Once progesterone is blocked, the pregnancy begins to end. You typically shouldn’t experience any major symptoms from the mifepristone, according to the Mayo Clinic.

After you’ve taken the mifepristone, wait 24 to 48 hours (depending on what your health care provider recommends). Then, it’s time to take misoprostol. Misoprostol is usually dispensed in four pills. You should take the misoprostol at home, or somewhere comfortable where you have access to a bathroom. Around 30 minutes after taking misoprostol, you’ll experience bleeding and cramping as your uterus is emptied and the pregnancy is flushed out, according to Abortion Finder, a database of verfied abortion providers throughout the United States.

The FDA has approved the pills for use up to 10 weeks into pregnancy.

Using a misoprostol-only regimen

While it isn’t approved by the FDA, a misoprostol-only regimen is regarded as safe and effective, according to KFF, a health care policy nonprofit. Several U.S. telehealth companies prescribe this regimen.

Only taking misoprostol is associated with more side effects, though, including fever and diarrhea. It successfully ends 80% to 100% of pregnancies, depending on the duration of the pregnancy, and has a complication rate of less than 1%, according to The Society of Family Planning.

Is Plan B an abortion pill?

No, Plan B is not an abortion pill. The abortion “pill” — again, which refers to two pills — ends a pregnancy. Plan B prevents a pregnancy from starting. It can delay or prevent the ovary from releasing an egg, though it will not prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus, according to Foundation Consumer Healthcare, which makes Plan B.

And unlike the abortion pill, you can get Plan B at a drugstore or pharmacy without a prescription. You can buy Plan B regardless of your gender, and you don’t have to show your ID.

Where can I get an abortion pill?

You can get the abortion pill at a number of reproductive health care providers, like Planned Parenthood. There are also companies and organizations offering online access. However, a prescription is required, and access to medication abortion (and surgical abortion) is now restricted in many states.

Depending on where you live and whether abortion is legal in your state, these resources may be of help in obtaining medication abortion:

  • Abortion Finder, an online directory of abortion care providers across the country.

  • National Abortion Federation, a professional association that also offers an expansive national directory of abortion providers.

  • Carafem, a company that provides abortion care and procedures for early-term pregnancies

What states banned abortion?

In the months since the Supreme Court threw out federal protections for abortion, some states quickly banned access to abortion in almost all instances, while others made efforts to protect the right to abortion.

While mifepristone remains available today, the U.S. Supreme Court said in December 2023 it will hear two consolidated cases that could limit access to the abortion pill. The cases challenge an earlier appeals court ruling that sought to overturn the FDA’s approval of the drug.

In June 2024, the court rejected one of those suits, FDA v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, which sought to challenge the FDA’s approval of mifepristone. The court ruled that the plaintiffs lacked standing to bring the challenge, and upheld access to mifepristone.

But attempts to restrict access to the abortion pill likely aren’t over. The Court’s unanimous decision, written by Justice Brett Kavanaugh, said health care providers are protected by federal “conscience protections” from prescribing mifepristone, as well as treating mifepristone-related complications, but that the plaintiffs didn’t provide sufficient evidence that such protections were violated.

To be clear, there are no new health or safety concerns regarding mifepristone, and this development instead represents the continued battle in U.S. courts over reproductive health care.

In April, the court heard another abortion-related case, Idaho v. United States, which challenges the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act. That federal law, known as EMTALA, requires virtually all U.S. hospitals to provide necessary emergency medical care to anybody who comes into the hospital needing it. But in Idaho, medically necessary abortions are banned, except in instances where the mother’s life is at risk.

It’s unclear when the court’s ruling is expected. The ruling could determine whether state’s abortion laws overrule such federal protections, as well as whether health care providers have legal cover to refuse to provide medically necessary abortions if the patient’s health — but not their life — are at risk. (It’s unclear when the ruling is expected.)

Abortionfinder.org, an online directory of verified abortion service providers, is regularly updating its state-by-state abortion availability guide.

The following information is updated as of June 2024. Note that in some states, abortion access may be restricted to medication abortions. More state-specific information can be found in the guide.

Abortion is legal and accessible in these states, though there may be restrictions based on the length of the pregnancy: Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington.

In these states, abortion is still accessible, but isn't legally protected under the state constitution: Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wyoming.

And these states either have total bans on abortion or make it extremely difficult to obtain an abortion: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana,, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma,, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin.