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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs about our services and abortion access in Montana

MAAP is here to help you navigate barriers to abortion care and get you the safe, compassionate, affordable abortion care you deserve.

MAAP offers support at all stages of accessing abortion care. Please fill out an application here. If you do not yet have an appointment scheduled, we will help connect you with a clinic. If you have already connected with the clinic, we will work closely with you and them to coordinate support. Find more information about Montana clinics here, and more information about what to expect when you reach out to us here.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or have questions, reach out to us by phone or text at 406-224-7472 or email at [email protected].

MAAP can contribute to the cost of the abortion care appointment as well as practical support costs including travel expenses, lodging, food, and childcare.

Yes! We support folks traveling to Montana for care and Montanans traveling both in and out of state for care. If this applies to you, please fill out our application here.

We reserve a portion of our funding to support other abortion seekers across the US to meet their needs. We are committed to uplifting every part of the national abortion access movement.

Please see our resource on Abortion Access in the West for specific information on scheduling your abortion care appointment. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or have questions, reach out to us by phone or text at 406-224-7472 or email at [email protected].

Montana state law allows abortions up to 21 weeks and 6 days (about five months). Medication abortions are legally available up to 11 weeks and procedural abortions are available at all gestational ages (how far along you are in your pregnancy) up to 21 weeks 6 days. There are also robust medication-by-mail programs in Montana. Read more about Abortion Access in the West.

Whether you’re having a medication or procedural abortion, the provider should talk with you about your options and answer your questions. You’ll fill out paperwork and may have some basic tests done, such as an ultrasound to determine your gestational age (how far along you are in your pregnancy). Along with providing information about how to take care of yourself after the procedure, the healthcare provider may offer to go over which contraception (birth control) options might work best for you. Most importantly, you should feel listened to and cared for throughout your experience.

Yes! In 2023, we changed our name from the Susan Wicklund Fund to the Montana Abortion Access Program to be more clear about what we do and to make it easier for people to find us. To learn more please see our About Us page.

We are committed to using gender-inclusive language because we know people of many genders have abortions. New research from the Guttmacher Institute’s Abortion Patient Survey indicates that LGBTQ+ people, including individuals who do not identify as women, make up as many as 16% of US abortion patients. We know that folks with many gender identities access abortion care and that the barriers to abortion care are systemic and intersectional and our approach must match that reality.

We affirm that the fight for the right to make reproductive decisions about one’s own body is inexorably linked with all other fights for bodily autonomy. We stand in solidarity and gratitude for all those who fought to protect and expand these rights. We build off this enduring legacy in solidarity with all those continuing this fight to protect our right to bodily autonomy.

To find out more about gender-inclusive language.

FAQ: Abortion Rights Today – What LGBTQ+ People Should Know

FAQs about abortion

There is a lot of misinformation about abortion aimed at preventing people from accessing the care they need. We’ve put together some of the most commonly asked questions about abortion care so that you are empowered to make informed decisions for your unique situation, health, and well-being. You know what’s best for yourself; we’re here to support you.

Yes. Abortion is safe. Both in-clinic and medication abortions are safe. In fact, an in-clinic abortion is one of the safest medical procedures, with a lower complication rate than common medical procedures like a colonoscopy or getting your wisdom teeth removed. Abortion pills used in medication abortion are safer than common medicines like Tylenol, penicillin, and Viagra.

Learn more about how safe abortion is.

A procedural abortion happens at a health center, where a qualified healthcare provider uses gentle suction and/or scraping to remove the embryo or fetus. Safe and effective, the procedure itself typically takes less than 15 minutes. Learn more about procedural abortion and its safety.

With a medication abortion (also sometimes referred to as the “abortion pill”), a qualified healthcare provider gives you medication to take. The medication consists of two types of medicines, Mifepristone and Misoprostol. With an in-clinic medication abortion, you will take the Mifepristone in the clinic and then you will take the Misoprostol several hours later, at the location of your choosing. After you take the Misoprostol, your body begins to expel the pregnancy tissue as if you were having a first-trimester miscarriage. You’ll experience cramping and bleeding. With a meds-by-mail medication abortion, you will take all of the medications in the setting of your choosing. Both of these medication options involve self-management of your experience. See more resources for Self Managed Abortions here.

No. Plan B and other types of emergency contraception medicines are designed to stop your body from ovulating, so you reduce your chances of getting pregnant within a few days of having sex. You can often get emergency contraception over-the-counter at a pharmacy, no prescription needed.

If you’re already pregnant, emergency contraception is NOT an option for ending the pregnancy. A medication abortion is used to end a pregnancy up to 11 weeks. This medicine is typically available only at health centers that provide abortion services. Find specific information about access in Montana.

No. This is an abortion myth. After reviewing numerous studies conducted in the U.S. and internationally, the American Cancer Society has found no link between abortion and breast cancer.

No. This is another myth about abortion. Safe medication and procedural abortions do not affect fertility. Rare complications can have effects. Read more here.

Yes. Having an abortion will NOT keep you from getting pregnant again. Wherever you have your procedure, the qualified healthcare provider should talk to you about the best contraception options for you before you leave the health center. For more information on contraception options.

In the United States, one in four people capable of becoming pregnant* will have an abortion by age 45. Yes, abortion is that common—which means someone you care about has had one.

The stigma around abortion is one of the very real barriers to accessing abortion care. Our current culture of silence and shame surrounding abortion care prevents many of us from sharing these stories or asking for help. But it doesn’t have to be like this. Our resource section uplifts the work of others who are telling abortion stories here. If you’d like to share your story with us, please do so here.

*Not everyone who has had or will have an abortion identifies as a woman. Transgender men, two-spirit, intersex, non-binary, genderfluid, and gender nonconforming people access abortion care as well as cisgender women. The referenced study refers specifically to women in this instance.

Abortion is legal in Montana!

The below information is not intended to be legal advice.

This information was last updated by MAAP staff in July 2023.****

In Montana, we maintain legal access to abortion up to viability. However, we know the legal status of abortion and abortion methods may change and can be confusing. If you have questions about your specific situation please contact the If/When/How legal hotline at 844-868-2812 or the secure messaging option at www.reprolegalhelpline.org

In Montana, abortion is governed by Montana Code Annotated Sections 50-20-1 through 50-20-7. A 1999 case referred to as “Armstrong” found that the Montana Constitution protects the fundamental right to privacy, and thus abortion is legal through pre-viability. This is still the leading abortion case in Montana.

In Montana, viability is defined as “the ability of a fetus to live outside the mother’s womb, albeit with artificial aid.” Mont. Code Ann. Section 50-20-104(6). Clinics and doctors may have different interpretations of “viability” and an exam may be necessary to determine whether the fetus is “viable”.

In Montana, it is still legal to receive a procedural abortion until viability or a medication abortion until 11 weeks. It is legal for non-Montana residents to travel to Montana to receive abortion services. It is legal for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs), Physician Assistants (PAs), and Medical Doctors (MDs) to provide abortion care.

Currently, All Families Healthcare in Whitefish, Blue Mountain Clinic in Missoula, and Planned Parenthood of Montana in Helena, Billings, Great Falls, and Missoula provide abortion care in compliance with Montana state law. This includes providing procedural and medication abortion to Montana residents and to those who travel to Montana for care. You can contact these clinics and read more about their offerings here.