UNLIKE CHARGES for many other medical services, the amount women pay for an abortion has not kept pace with cost-of-living increases in the economy. It apparently does not cost much more today than in 1986, when the average charge to patients for a first-trimester abortion was $209 at an abortion clinic, $235 at other medical clinics, and $272 in the office of a physician (usually an obstetrician-gynecologist). The reasons: competition among providers and more efficient performance. That is just one of the facts surfacing in a survey begun this spring by the Alan Guttmacher Institute, New York, NY.
The institute, an independent nonprofit corporation for research, policy analysis, and public education regarding reproductive health, will complete and publish its survey of the status of abortion in the United States in approximately 6 months. Investigators taking part in this 10th survey regarding this subject want to determine where abortions are available,