Thursday, April 18, 2013

Was Gosnell really that cheap?

One argument made by abortion advocates attempting to blame prolife laws for Kermit Gosnell is that Gosnell was only able to continue operating because poor women (without tax-funded abortions) were forced to turn to Gosnell due to his super low prices.  I'll agree that his prices are lower than most providers (especially later in pregnancy) but his first trimester and early second trimester abortion prices aren't really drastically cheaper than other abortion providers. 

In fact, some of his prices are higher than the prices charged at the abortion clinic owned by Todd Stave and his sister.   Reproductive Health Services was founded by Carl Stave is currently run by Todd and his sister Nancy Stave Samuels. Todd has been on Rachel Maddow's show.

Here's the price list for Reproductive Health Services.    The price list includes prices for their Prince George's Reproductive Health Services and says to call for the prices at the Germantown abortion clinic where abortionist LeRoy Carhart does late-term abortions.

Compare it with Gosnell's price list (2nd image).   As Gosnell's price list for abortion shows, he provided one price for insurance and another price for women paying cash (if they paid with credit card there was a "merchandising fee").

For women opting for local anesthesia, RHS's price is basically cheaper than Gosnell's "discount" price all the way with RHS starting out at $220 for a 6-11 week abortion and topping out at $525 for a 16 week abortion compared to Gosnell's prices of $330 for 6-12 abortion and $540 for a 15-16 week abortion.  RHS adds a $100 fee for twilight anesthesia while Gosnell's fee was $90. 

Gosnell charged $450 for a RU-486 abortion.  RHS charges $375.

The only time Gosnell would be cheaper than RHS is for 18-19 week abortions.
And then here's the prices you'd find at Planned Parenthood in Washington, D.C.        
Price ranges for our abortion services are:

    abortion pill (medication abortion) - $475
    in-clinic abortion
        4-11 weeks - $425
        12-13 weeks - $475
        14 weeks - $525
        15 weeks - $600
        16-19 weeks - $700-1075
    sedation - IV medication - $100
    sedation - oral medication - Included in price
    medication if you are Rh negative - $40-100
    post-abortion follow-up exam - Included in price
    abortion patient education - Included in price
For most of the abortions, the Planned Parenthood price is between Gosnell's insurance price and cash price.  For RU-486, Gosnell's discounted price of $450 is only $25 cheaper than Planned Parenthood. 

Gosnell's lowest price for an abortion is $330 for a 6-12 week surgical abortion.  Here's what one Planned Parenthood affiliate says about abortion prices nationwide. 
Nationwide, the cost at health centers ranges from about $285 to $700 for abortion in the first trimester.
Planned Parenthood's main information page on abortion says that surgical abortions "cost about $300–$950 in the first trimester."

For later abortions, the Southwestern's Women clinic in New Mexico says prices for a 20-24 week abortion start at $1,250.  That's really not that much more than the $1,180 Gosnell would charge for a "discount" 21-22 week abortion (without anything more than local sedation).  The New Mexico's clinic price includes sedation (which kind of sedation isn't mentioned). 

1 comment: