How distance traveled for abortion affects where women seek follow-up care
- Overall, 12% of California women traveled 50 miles or more and 4% traveled 100 miles or more for Medicaid-covered abortion.
- Some groups of women were more likely to travel long distances: 51% of rural woman, 20% of women obtaining abortions at hospitals, and 22% of women obtaining second trimester or later abortions traveled 50 miles or more.
- Women travelling longer distances for an abortion were more likely to seek abortion-related follow-up care at an emergency room and were less likely to return to their abortion provider.
- The cost of follow-up care at emergency rooms was significantly higher than follow-up care at the abortion provider.
Increasing the number of rural Medicaid abortion providers and reimbursing providers for telemedicine and alternatives to routine follow-up would likely improve continuity of abortion care. It would also reduce state costs by shifting the location of follow-up from emergency rooms back to abortion providers.