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Medical students' attitudes, education and experiences with abortion

Lauren Farmer, BA, New York Medical College

The majority of Americans believe that women should be able to choose freely between abortion and pregnancy. However, for many women, this "choice" is simply unavailable. There are a multitude of barriers to abortion access in the United States, which in effect, prevent women from making their own decisions about pregnancy. These barriers include the availability of abortion providers and patient access to them and to medical facilities, legal restrictions on abortion provision, social and familial stigma, the accessibility of pro-choice supporting physicians (e.g. anesthesiologists), and many more. In this study, we focus on physicians as the limiting factor in abortion provision, specifically looking at how undergraduate medical education influences student knowledge and attitudes on abortion and how these affect decisions of students as future physicians to include abortion in their clinical practice. In addition we hope to elucidate the extent to which family planning and abortion are being taught in medical schools and identify gaps in education in order to have sufficient data to create future educational reforms and supplementation.


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