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Study: Abortion training in peril if Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade

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Almost half of OB-GYN medical students will not receive any abortion training if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade this summer, according to a new study from the University of California, San Francisco.

Driving the news: The court is currently considering a challenge to a 15-week abortion ban in Mississippi. A ruling in the case could jeopardize Roe’s survival, or at least narrow its precedent.

Red states across the U.S. are passing and enacting restrictive abortion laws in anticipation of the court’s ruling, even with federal abortion protections still in place.Zoom in: On Thursday, Oklahoma passed a law that aims to ban all abortions in the state. It would take effect immediately after it is signed into law.

That would not only would it become the most restrictive abortion law in the U.S., but it would make Oklahoma the first state with a total ban in place.Neither of Oklahoma’s two medical schools offer abortion training, AP reports.Details: Researchers found that 44.8% of the 286 accredited obstetrics and gynecology residency programs are in states that are “certain or likely” to ban abortions in the absence of Roe.

“Therefore, of 6,007 current obstetric and gynecology residents, 2,638 (43.9%) are certain or likely to lack access to in-state abortion training,” the UCSF study states.By comparison, in 2020, 92% of OB-GYN residents reported having access to some sort of abortion training. Context: Abortion training is “a component of obstetrics and gynecology residency required for accreditation,” per the researchers.

The big picture: Abortion training is already scarce in the U.S.

A 2020 study from Stanford University found that half of medical schools in the U.S. include no formal training or offer a single lecture on abortion-related topics.What they’re saying: “The researchers suggest that clinical educators arrange out-of-state travel rotations, patient-centered early pregnancy loss training, and abortion simulation curricula to prepare for the dramatic decline in access to abortion training if Roe v. Wade is overturned,” a press release for the study says.

Yes, but: Researchers point out that travel rotations may not be feasible for the nearly half of all U.S. OB-GYN residents, so educators might need to explore “robust formalized miscarriage training, simulation, or remote learning as options for mitigating the lack of abortion training.”

Go deeper: 

Red states race to enact new abortion restrictionsWhat abortion access would look like if Roe v. Wade is overturned
Source : Axios

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