Almost half of US ob-gyn residents won’t get abortion training if Roe v. Wade is overturned

April 28, 2022

By the end of June, the Supreme Court will issue a decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, a direct challenge to the right to abortion protected by Roe v. Wade. If Roe is overturned, 26 states are certain or likely to ban abortion.

In a new paper co-authored by Bixby members, researchers mapped ob-gyn residency programs across the US and highlighted those in states hostile to abortion access. They found that 44% of ob-gyn residency programs are in states that are certain or likely to ban abortion. That puts abortion training in jeopardy for more than 2,600 residents that were in accredited ob-gyn programs as of 2020.

In 2020, 92% of ob-gyn residents reported having access to some level of abortion training. The authors predict that if Roe is overturned, it would plummet to at most 56%. That doesn’t account for family physicians and other clinicians who receive abortion training. Lack of training will have far-reaching impacts, from abortion care to managing early pregnancy loss to treating people who manage their own abortions.

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.