Sadly, due to the US Supreme Court reversal of Roe vs Wade and the subsequent bans enacted upon women's bodies, some of Women's Choice's patients are traveling to us from states where abortion is now banned.
These women are often understandably concerned and worried that they may be breaking the law and could face possible legal consequences in their state if they have an abortion.
This Web Page is written to address this issue for our patients concerned about legal issues.
First, elective abortion before 15 weeks is still completely legal in the State of Florida. So, for our Florida patients, this is not an issue. You can legally obtain an abortion in Florida.
Women's Choice provides abortion care up to 11 weeks. For patients beyond our gestational age limits, we can refer you to other providers within Florida if you are 11-15 weeks pregnant.
For our Florida patients, the legal issues are not so scary.
For the many women who live in a state where abortion is banned and who may choose to travel to Women's Choice to obtain abortion care, this page is for you.
If you live in a state where abortion is banned, you do not need to fear that you are somehow breaking the law by traveling to Florida to obtain a legal abortion. Let's break down the legal FAQs that some
of our patients have asked:
1. Is it legal for me to travel to Florida for an abortion? Yes! The answer to this question is a resounding yes. No state can bar you from traveling to another state. This is established in the US Constitution. The question of inter-state travel is a well-settled legal issue that was fully resolved in the 1700s. One state cannot bar inter-state travel to another state. You don't need a Visa or a Passport to visit Florida. You don't need to pay a border tax to cross state lines into Florida or any other US state. And you don't need to go through Customs. Inter-state travel is fully protected in the US constitution. Tourists come to Pensacola every day for the fun and sun, with no restrictions whatsoever.
2. Is my care in Florida subject to abortion bans in my home state? Absolutely not. Let's say you are traveling from, say for example, Texas. Just as Florida cannot impose Florida laws upon actions in Texas, likewise, Texas cannot impose its abortion ban laws in Florida. When you are in Florida, Florida law rules.
3. If I live in a state where abortion is banned, how do I protect myself from being charged with breaking my state's abortion ban laws? The answer to this is simple, here's what you do:
A. Drive to Florida to Women's Choice office in Pensacola.
B. Have your consultations and care in Florida
C. Receive your prescription from a Florida-licensed Doctor.
D. Go to a Florida pharmacy to pick up your medications in Florida.
E. Take your pills in Florida.
F. Go home.
G. Keep your trip and the abortion private and confidential.
That's it. Everything you did for the abortion happened in Florida, where abortion is completely legal. Not in your home state. You did not break the law in your home state or in Florida.
To avoid questioning, however, we recommend following up with Women's Choice or another Florida-licensed physician for post-abortion care and treatment of any problems - where your care was completely legal.
4. What if I have a complication and have to go to an emergency room in my home state where abortion is illegal? Will I get arrested? First of all, this is extremely rare.
If you are having any problems, call us first! However, if you do go do an ER, you should not, theoretically, have any problems because your care in Florida was legal.
That said, we cannot promise that some overly aggressive, anti-abortion prosecutor might not try to make an example of you. Therefore, our advice would be that you do not breath a word to them about the abortion.
Just say you started bleeding, and that you think you are having a miscarriage. Leave it at that. What you said is true. You are not lying. You did start bleeding. And you are having a miscarriage.
If you don't mention that you took medications to induce the miscarriage, they won't be able to tell - and it usually won't make any difference in your treatment.
The doctors in the ER cannot tell the difference between a natural miscarriage or a drug-induced miscarriage. They are both miscarriages. So, mum is the word.
Just don't mention the abortion pills or the trip to Florida, and you will not be subject to any further questioning. Ultimately, if someone found out that you traveled to Florida for a medication-abortion,
you should be found not guilty of an illegal abortion. Because your care was perfectly legal. But why put yourself through questioning and/or a legal process? The medications you took are a private matter,
and we recommend keeping it that way.
5. If I tell someone in my home state that I had an abortion, can they report me to the police? Yes. Anyone can report anyone to the police for a suspected crime. You can't stop them. And they are not breaking the law by making such a report. And if they DO make a complaint against you alleging an illegal abortion, then the police are obligated by law to conduct an investigation of the complaint. Hopefully, all that will happen is that you would be subject to questioning by the police. But, for these reasons, it might be prudent not to talk too much about your abortion. Even though it is perfectly legal. Just because it was legal, doesn't protect you from accusation and questioning. It should, however, ultimately protect you from conviction. But why go there? Just keep the matter private and confidential. If you live in a state where abortion is not legal, then it might not be a good idea to post your abortion on your social media. Keep it private.
6. Are my records at Women's Choice confidential? Yes. Women's Choice does everything in its power to protect the privacy of your medical records.