A new report from the Guttmacher Institute shows that most women in the U.S. have trouble paying for an abortion procedure, often relying on assistance from others to cover the cost.

The findings, entitled "At What Cost?: Payment For Abortion Care By U.S. Women," suggest that most women (even those with insurance) pay out of pocket for abortion services either because their health insurance does not cover the procedure, they falsely believe their insurance doesn't cover the procedure, or they're concerned that using their insurance to cover the procedure would affect confidentiality.

Dr. Rachel Jones from the Guttmacher Institute administered surveys to 639 women getting abortions at six geographically diverse health care facilities. Women were asked to provide information about insurance coverage, payment for service, acquisition of funds, and ancillary costs incurred.

The average cost of an abortion procedure in the U.S. was $470 in 2009. In addition to that, women may incur ancillary expenses including transportation, lost wages, and child care in order to get the procedure. The outcome becomes pricey, especially for those paying out of pocket. The report shows that a "substantial minority" of the women surveyed delayed or did not pay bills in order to cover the cost.

"The findings make clear that abortion can pose a major financial burden for women seeking these services and is not a decision they take lightly," said Jones. "Many of these women are poor or low-income, and have to come up with several hundred dollars to pay for the procedure. They rely on friends and family, clinics and abortion funds, and often have to not pay their bills or delay payment in order to do so."

To remedy the problem, researchers suggest expanding coverage for abortions under private insurance plans and/or repealing the Hyde Amendment, which restricts how much Medicaid coverage women can receive.