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They shared information about pricing with women and negotiated with doctors to drop their rates.
As what was thought to be the largest referral service in the country, which referred an estimated half million women for abortions in its six years of existence, the CCS had significant market power that it leveraged to reduce the going rate for an abortion.
The counselors encouraged all women to report back about their experiences, and after a woman was referred to a new doctor, her counselor would follow up for her review.
CCS members realized early on that price was as great a barrier to safe abortion as illegality.
With branches of the CCS from across the country referring patients, the clinic served more abortion patients than all of New York City’s hospitals combined, according to Moody’s and Carmen’s book.
The clinic charged $200 for the procedure when it opened, which was well below the market rate, and was able to further reduce the price to $125 within a year.
But overly medicalized abortion procedures are not optimal for patients.