SELF-MANAGED ABORTION AND THE LAW

Abortion is a legal right in the U.S., but some people who self-manage their abortions have been arrested and jailed. Read on to learn more.

Do I Have a Legal Right to Abortion in the U.S.?

  • Yes. Some states have tried to make it harder for people to get abortions, but in every state, all people have the constitutional right to abortion.

Would I Be Breaking the Law if I Did My Own Abortion?

 

  • In the U.S., you have the constitutional right to abortion. There is nothing in the Constitution that says the state can punish you for doing your own abortion.

  • In some states, however, some people who ended their own pregnancies have been arrested and charged with crimes. Some of those people have been convicted of those crimes and have served time in jail. Some had their cases dismissed. Laws are different from state to state.

  • If you have questions about your rights in your state, or if you have been charged with  a crime related to your own abortion, please contact us for legal help. We will do our best to help you find a lawyer. We may be able to work with your lawyer to help defend you.

I Want to Go to Clinic for an Abortion But I Need Financial Help. What Are My Options?

  • In 17 states, state Medicaid programs pay for abortion. In every state, you have the right to have your abortion paid for by Medicaid if you are 1) low income, and 2) you are pregnant as a result of rape, or your life would be in danger if you stayed pregnant.

  • In the states that do not allow Medicaid to pay for abortions, non-profit organizations called “abortion funds” help people who need it to pay for their abortion, travel, and other needs related to an abortion.

  • Go to abortionfunds.org/ to find the abortion fund nearest you. You can also call the National Abortion Federation for support nationwide at https://prochoice.org/think-youre-pregnant/naf-hotline/

I Self-Managed My Abortion And I Have Questions About My Rights

 

  • At If/When/How, we fight for your legal right to decide whether to keep or end a pregnancy. If you have questions that are not answered on the website, please call us or send us a secure message.

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2019 If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice