Though it's been the source of great controversy, Rep. Bart Stupak's amendment to the House's health-care legislation would, practically speaking, affect a small minority of women. According to a 2001 study by the Guttmacher Institute, only 13 percent of abortions are paid for through private insurance, meaning fewer than 160,000 women yearly use their insurance to cover the cost of an abortion. Those hardest-hit would be the 1 percent of women undergoing abortion procedures who seek it in the late second or third trimester, when the operation can cost $5,000 and take several days (first-trimester procedures, which account for 90 percent of abortions, cost an average of $413.) But low-income women who are already uninsured, and therefore not covered for abortions, would not be any worse off under the new bill.
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