Later abortion (after the first trimester) is less common in the United States and more stigmatized than first-trimester abortion. Yet a woman’s right to abortion should not be limited because she discovers she is pregnant or decides a pregnancy is unwanted after the first trimester. Several states have imposed gestational age-specific abortion bans, and additional legislation has been passed to restrict providers’ ability to offer and women’s ability to access later abortion services. The purpose of the Later Abortion Network (LAN) is to bring together organizations and individuals committed to increasing access to high-quality later abortion care. LAN provides a secure space for reproductive health, rights, and justice groups to discuss later abortion, share new research and messaging information, gain knowledge about the issue, and build support among reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations for prioritizing later abortion. Specifically, LAN catalyzes collaboration and communication to:
Remove barriers that cause unnecessary delays for women, including creating a better referral system and expanding public and private insurance coverage for abortion;
Increase public understanding of the reasons why a woman may need an abortion in the second trimester or later and build support for health care professionals committed to providing these services;
Neutralize policy, legal, and regulatory barriers with creative research and advocacy initiatives;
Improve service delivery by developing new models that expand availability, increase later abortion training, and recognize specific barriers faced by later abortion providers; and
- Create a research agenda that informs and evaluates these strategies.