These two procedures are included in standard physician education. There are few options for residents and medical students in the United States who wish to learn more about abortions.

New restrictions are appearing: In the last year, at least eight states have enacted or proposed bills to limit abortion education. These changes are being made by abortion opponents, who have been encouraged by new restrictions on the procedure and a Supreme Court decision that could overturn the landmark Roe V. Wade decision legalizing abortion.

“It is quite frightening what’s happening,” said Ian Peake, third-year medical student from Oklahoma. On April 12, the governor signed a law banning most abortions.

Oklahoma’s two medical faculties do not offer abortion training. Also, education on the subject is very limited. Aspiring doctors interested in learning more about abortion often seek out doctors that offer it outside of the traditional medical education system.

Peake, 32 years old, stated that if he wants to learn how to do colonoscopies (for example), he could shadow a doctor who is doing research or in a clinic.

He said, “That would be simple.” “To do the exact same thing for abortion, it’s almost impossible.” He stated that it took him six years to find a provider who was willing to teach him.

Natasha McGlaun, a Nevada medical student, created a workshop about how to perform an abortion procedure. It is offered at night and in her spare time.

The 27-year old is the daughter of pro-feminist parents and the mother to two young girls whose rights to reproductive freedom she wishes to protect.

She said, “It was a joke in our family: If people tells me I can’t do it, I’m going twice as hard to do it.” “I feel a moral, righteous drive and desire to do it.”


The U.S. medical education usually includes four years of medical school. Here, students learn the basics and practice hands-on medicine. After graduation, they are officially certified doctors with a medical degree. They spend at least three more years in residency programs, where they are trained and skilled in a variety of specialty areas.

The U.S. Medical Schools require that students complete a clerkship, however it is not required that it include abortion education. An accrediting body requires OB-GYN residency programmes to offer access to abortion training at the post-graduate level. Residents who object may be allowed to opt out.

Most U.S. abortions are performed by OB-GYNs. Family medicine specialists follow. These are not the only doctors women will encounter when they discover an unintended pregnancy. Supporters of abortion rights argue that all doctors should be able to counsel and inform patients about the procedure, and that this education should begin in medical school.

Stanford University researchers found that half of the medical schools in 2020 did not offer formal abortion training, or only one lecture.

They wrote that abortion is one of the most popular medical procedures. “But, abortion-related topics are shockingly absent from medical school curriculum.”

McGlaun sponsored a bill last year asking the American Medical Association for support for mandatory abortion education in medical schools. There was an opt-out clause. This influential group has been opposed to curriculum mandates for many years and rejected the proposal. However, it stated that it supported giving residents and medical students the opportunity to learn about abortion and rejects attempts to prevent such training.


All levels of medical education are targeted by legislative efforts to stop abortion.

The trend is illustrated by an Idaho law that was passed last year. It prohibits tuition and fees for abortion, and related activities in school-based facilities at institutions that receive state funding.

Another effort is a Wisconsin bill, which would prohibit employees of the University of Wisconsin or its hospitals from participating and training in abortions. Although it failed to move in March, its sponsor plans to reinstate the measure. Similar proposals were made for Ohio and Missouri public universities.

Divya Jain was introduced to abortion not at her Missouri medical school, where the procedure is seldom discussed, but at a Planned Parenthood Kansas clinic. As a volunteer at the clinic, she saw firsthand the difficulties that out-of-state women had in getting the procedure. Jain explained that some women ended up in a nearby crisis pregnancy center, which tried to change their minds.

Jain, 23 years old, said that her first experience with an abortion was “anticlimactic” and far less frightening than the one she had heard from opponents.

She said, “It’s just an in-house procedure.” It’s only patients who are seeking medical treatment.

She knew that she wanted to perform abortions at that moment. It was as if she had a flash of her finger. It kind of changed everything for me,” Jain said. Jain is currently studying public policy at Harvard and on leave from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Jain, the daughter of traditional but open-minded parents who immigrated from India to Kansas, recalls feeling trapped by her traditional family culture and a conservative white community in which abortion was never discussed.

She said that she liked to “stir the pot” and push boundaries.

Jain is aware that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision whether to uphold Mississippi’s ban on abortions after fifteen weeks of pregnancy could dramatically change the U.S. abortion landscape. Jain stated that her goal is to perform abortions in “hostile states” where there are few providers, regardless of the outcome.

Jain stated, “It’s really difficult for patients to receive the care they deserve and need. I just think it is wrong.”


Dr. Keith ReisingerKindle, 33, is the associate director of Wright State University’s OB-GYN residency programme in Dayton. He said that his goal to increase abortion training has been “a difficult battle” due to legislative obstacles.

Two years ago, he stated that there was no formal education in abortion. He arrived at the school nearly two years ago.

According to the doctor, a state legislator had lobbied for him to be fired by university administrators. Ohio’s governor signed a law in December that prohibits doctors working at state institutions from serving as backup doctors in abortion clinics for rare complications. Reisinger-Kindle’s clinic is suing to stop the law.

Reisinger-Kindle stated, “There are certain days that are certainly difficult.” He is supported by young doctors who are eager to learn. 24 residents are currently enrolled in the program. Although they can choose to opt out of the abortion training, he stated that nearly all residents have chosen to take part “in at least some capacity.”

He is concerned about more restrictions on abortion, but he adds that he believes we will eventually get it right. My only wish is that my students do not have to suffer.”