How the Supreme Court abortion ruling could affect OB-GYN training

On June 24, the Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade, setting the stage for a patchwork of different abortion laws across U.S. states. Now, with abortion bans likely in a number of states, Bloomberg Law and USA Today took a deeper dive into how the rules could affect OB-GYN training.

Five takeaways from the coverage:

1.  In a paper co-authored by members of the UCSF Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health in San Francisco before the Supreme Court ruling, researchers found that 44 percent of OB-GYN residency programs are in states that are certain or likely to ban abortion.

2. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education has long required that OB-GYN training programs provide abortion training or access to abortion training, Janis Orlowski, MD, chief healthcare officer for the Association of American Medical Colleges, told USA Today.

3. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education has proposed changes to its rules, including that programs would have to provide "clinical experience or access to clinical experience in the provision of abortions as part of the planned curriculum. If a program is within a jurisdiction that legally restricts this clinical experience, the program must provide access to this clinical experience in a jurisdiction where no such legal restriction is present."

4. The legal landscape will be vast in the U.S. as roughly half of U.S. states are likely or certain to ban abortion. Amid this legal landscape, some professors told Bloomberg Law medical residencies could develop travel-rotation programs in which residents in states with abortion bans can travel to out-of-state programs for training.

5. There are opposing views among professionals as to whether abortion bans will jeopardize training for residents, according to Bloomberg Law. Carrie Cwiak, MD, a professor in the department of gynecology and obstetrics at the Atlanta-based Emory University School of Medicine, told the publication: "If our trainees are limited in the … learning experience that they can have, it impacts their ability to provide safe and quality care for early pregnancy loss and obstetric complications as well as abortion care." Donna Harrison, MD, CEO of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, disputed that, telling Bloomberg Law, "There really should be no impact at all, because OB-GYNs are trained to empty a uterus at any gestational age as part of their normal training."

To read the full Bloomberg Law report, click here. To read the full USA Today report, click here

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