Accessing Abortion in NC

Experiencing an unexpected pregnancy can be overwhelming, especially when you have to navigate complex — and rapidly changing — legal and social dynamics to access health care. In the current political climate, when anti-abortion lawmakers are trying to eliminate abortion access in North Carolina, it's more important than ever to know where to find accurate, up-to-date information on abortion.

We're here to help.  

Abortion is a normal part of reproductive health care. You have a right to make decisions about your body, and we will help you identify resources to support those decisions. 

In June, the NC General Assembly passed a bill banning most abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy and adding a multitude of restrictions on abortion prior to 12 weeks. Most parts of the bill went into effect on July 1, 2023. This guide includes updated legal restrictions on abortion in North Carolina. 

1. First steps

A.First steps


If you’re thinking through your decision, you can review Planned Parenthood’s page on considering abortion

If you or someone you know is a patient seeking an abortion and you have questions, or want to know about available resources, The National Abortion Federation national hotline can help. This link includes their two lines and hours.  

Before scheduling your appointment, it would be helpful to know the date of your last period. This is how doctors measure how far along you are in your pregnancy, or your “gestational age,” which may limit your options due to legal restrictions.

North Carolina requires minors to obtain parental permission or request an exemption from a judge before receiving an abortion. There are also other adults who might be able to consent for a minor. If you need assistance obtaining an abortion as a minor, you can use TextAbby, a free text line that can answer your questions and help you obtain a judicial waiver if you need one. The number to TextAbby is (844) 997-2229.

2. Learn the laws

A.Learn the laws


The following restrictions on abortion are in effect in North Carolina as of July 1, 2023:

  • Prior to obtaining an abortion, a patient must go to an in-person appointment and receive an ultrasound and state-directed counseling that includes information designed to discourage the patient from having an abortion. The appointment for the abortion will be at least 72 after the counseling appointment. For medication abortions, the doctor must also schedule a follow-up appointment with the patient 7-14 days later. It is not legally required that the patient go to this follow-up appointment. This means that patients must attend at least two in-person appointments in order to receive their abortion.
  • Abortions after 12 weeks are only allowed in cases of rape, incest, after the diagnosis of a “life-limiting” fetal anomaly, or when there is a “medical emergency.” Abortions in the case of rape or incest can be performed up to 20 weeks. Abortions in the case of fetal anomaly can be performed up to 24 weeks.
  • Public funding and state insurance plans can only cover abortion in cases of life endangerment, rape, or incest.
  • The use of telemedicine to administer medication abortion is prohibited.
  • The state prohibits abortions performed for the purpose of sex selection or based on suspicion of Down Syndrome.

3. Identify your nearest licensed abortion provider

A.Identify your nearest licensed abortion provider


North Carolina has 14 abortion providers in 9 counties. You can find the closest one to you using It will ask you to input the date of your last period to determine which clinics offer abortion at your stage of pregnancy.  

It is critical that you find a reputable and safe abortion provider. If a clinic is not listed in the finder above, it may be a Crisis Pregnancy Center (CPC). CPCs are anti-abortion centers that do not provide medical care and are designed to dissuade people from obtaining an abortion. They engage in varied manipulation tactics, including misleading advertisements and medically inaccurate information, to target vulnerable people.  

Read more about how to avoid fake clinics

4. Know the different kinds of abortion services

A.Know the different kinds of abortion services


Different types of abortion are available to you depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy.  

  • Medication abortion is typically available up to 8-11 weeks, depending on the provider. It’s most effective for pregnancies under 8 weeks. It consists of two pills, mifepristone and misoprostol, which you take 48 hours apart. In North Carolina, you’re required to take the first pill in the clinic, but you can take the second pill at home. You may experience some bleeding and cramping. This is normal and can usually be managed at home.
  • In-clinic abortion is a medical procedure that ends a pregnancy. There are a couple kinds of in-clinic abortion procedures, and many factors may impact which is right for you. You can discuss these options with your provider. Suction abortion is the most common type of in-clinic abortion. It uses suction to empty your uterus. It’s typically available between about 5 weeks and about 16 weeks. 

5. What to expect when making your appointment

A.What to expect when making your appointment


Some providers have an online appointment scheduler, while some require you to call the clinic. Keep in mind potential wait times for appointment availability. Some clinics only perform abortions on certain days of the week. When you call, be prepared to answer some questions, such as when your last period started. You can find contact information for your closest abortion clinic at  

6. Cost and payment options

A.Cost and payment options


The average cost in North Carolina is $300–$600 for a first trimester abortion (up to 12 weeks). Second trimester abortions (between 13 weeks and viability) could cost much more. When you call to make your appointment, the provider should be able to tell you how much you will have to pay.  

Some private insurance plans cover abortion care. In North Carolina, health plans offered for public employees and under the Affordable Care Act can only cover abortion in cases of life endangerment, rape, or incest. 

If you’re concerned about your ability to pay for your abortion, you can ask your provider if they have any financial assistance available. Some clinics also offer discounts under certain circumstances, like if you can pay on the day of service.  

For more support and financial assistance, you can also contact the Carolina Abortion Fund. They can help you identify all the costs associated with your care and may be able to provide you with financial assistance.

If you are currently 15 weeks pregnant or more and you need help with travel, food, child care or other logistical aspects of accessing abortion care that Carolina Abortion Fund is unable to assist you with, you can contact the Brigid Alliance.

7. Getting to and from your appointment

A.Getting to and from your appointment


Many providers will require you to bring someone to help you get home after an in-clinic abortion, particularly if sedation will be required. You can ask someone from the clinic what their requirements are and how long the appointment is expected to take. Consider if there is someone in your life you can share your plan with and ask if they will accompany you.  

If you are planning to go alone, or if your support person is unable to drive you, check your local public transportation (bus, train, etc) in advance to be sure you can get home. You can also take an Uber, Lyft, or another ride share app or taxi company. You will not be able to drive yourself home. 

8. Other considerations

A.Other considerations


Depending on appointment scheduling and how you are feeling, you may have to take time off work to get an abortion and to recover from the procedure. Additionally, because only 9 counties in North Carolina have an abortion clinic, you may have to travel to your appointment. The costs of the procedure and the associated financial concerns are a hardship for many and can keep them from getting the reproductive care they need. Some abortion funds and other financial resources may be able to help with the financial concerns beyond paying for the appointment. Here are some other things to consider: 

  • If you have children, some clinics allow you to bring them with you to your appointment, but you should check beforehand if this is allowed. It may be necessary to arrange child care (see Cost and payment options for information on financial support for child care).  
  • You can also consider what type of emotional support you may need before, during, and after the procedure. Are there people in your life who you can safely talk to about your feelings? Hey Jane has written a guide on telling people about your abortion. If you can’t talk to anyone in your life, there are hotlines you can call to receive support. Exhale is a confidential textline that provides emotional support after an abortion. 
  • Unfortunately, there may be protesters outside of the abortion clinic when you come in for your appointment. They may shout at you or try to hand you literature. Security and trespassing laws vary by clinic. Many clinics have volunteer escorts who will walk you from your car and shield you from protesters. Sometimes these escorts will wear special vests to identify themselves. Pro-Choice NC also has some information on dealing with protesters on this page.  

9. Additional resources

A.Additional resources


If you have experienced sexual violence, you can find your local rape crisis center through this search function from the NC Coalition Against Sexual Assault.  

The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) also has a national 24-hour hotline you can reach over the phone or by online chat. If you feel safe confiding in them, your abortion provider may be aware of additional resources in your community. 

For assistance with intimate partner violence, you can search here for local domestic violence service providers. Many of these centers have hotlines you can call for assistance and support. 

Learning about, getting, and recovering from abortion care is challenging and requires many considerations. The most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. There are people across North Carolina and around the country who are waiting to support and help you. Abortion is a safe, common medical procedure. You have control over what to do with your body.