Only 12% of family practice residency programs in the US offer abortion training. Recently, there has been a considerable decrease in the number of obstetrician-gynecologists who do abortions or are trained to perform them. 83% of US women live in counties with no abortion provider. Women who do find an abortion provider are often harassed by picketers outside the abortion facility. Drug-induced abortion may be a solution to the limited access to abortion in the US. Yet, medical abortions are only for women in the very early stages of pregnancy. Some women who choose medical abortion do not completely abort, requiring a follow-up suction procedure. Often, family practice physicians are the only health care providers in rural and poor urban areas. Students attending a medical school where abortion training is provided are eager to learn. The family practice residency program at Montefiore Medical Center in New York has offered training in first trimester abortions using local anesthesia for 13 years. Family practice physicians are trained to counsel patients as they make their own decisions. The patient most likely feels more comfortable with her primary care physician performing the procedure than with an unfamiliar physician. Family practice physicians have also been trained to offer postabortion support and counseling on the woman's life, family, and ways to prevent future unwanted pregnancies. Women continue to request abortions and the family practice profession should be ready to meet their needs.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||2|
|Publication status||Published - Apr 1 1996|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Family Practice