New study by Ibis, NAF, and AAP shows abortion-care education is deficient in US health professional training

May 2006

May 9, 2006 – Advanced practice clinicians (APCs)—nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and certified nurse-midwives—play an increasingly important role in the delivery of a range of health services in the United States, yet many of the programs that train these health professionals do not provide didactic or clinical education about abortion services.

The number of abortion providers has declined by 87% since 1982 and an increasing number of American women live in a county without an abortion provider. This decline is attributed in part to the lack of routine education and training opportunities for health service professionals. To examine the inclusion and extent of abortion education in APC programs and to explore ways to expand coverage, we asked program directors at 486 accredited APC programs in the U.S to provide information about the comprehensive reproductive health curriculum at their institution. The results of the study, entitled Abortion education in nurse practitioner, physician assistant, and certified nurse-midwifery programs: A national survey, were published in the April issue of the journal Contraception. The study was jointly conducted by Ibis Reproductive Health, the National Abortion Federation, and the Abortion Access Project.

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