The purpose of this study is to examine abortion patients’ perceptions concerning a forty-eight-hour, in-person, mandatory waiting period for abortion in a state in the southeastern United States. Secondary data collected at the end of a provider intake form were analyzed to examine qualitative themes from patients’ experiences and perceptions related to the waiting period. Financial costs associated with traveling twice for the abortion appointment were also estimated. Results indicate that patients experienced notable personal and support-system barriers as a result of the waiting period. These barriers included problems with travel, transportation difficulties, interrupted employment and educational activities, problems arranging child care, financial concerns, and negative impacts on well-being, which suggest hardships and stress associated with the need to make and attend two in-person appointments with the abortion provider in order to comply with the waiting period. These barriers were often overlapping, and they led to patients reporting distress. Implications for policy and practice are discussed.

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