Abortion providers work to train specialists as Supreme Court’s Roe ruling looms

‘We can pass as many laws as we want, for or against access, but at the end of the day, if you don’t have trained providers, you don’t have choice’

New York expands abortion protections ahead of Roe ruling, Governor Hochul announces

Abortion providers in conservative-led states are rushing to train new specialists ahead of the Supreme Court’s looming Roe v Wade decision.

Experts say medical institutions that provide abortion training will face an uncertain future if, as is widely expected, the Supreme Court ends women’s constitutional rights to the procedure.

Aaron Campbell, an obstetrician and gynecologist at the The Knoxville Center for Reproductive Health in Tennessee, toldThe Washington Post an outright ban would have a chilling effect on the ability of women to have access to reproductive health.

“We can pass as many laws as we want, for or against access, but at the end of the day, if you don’t have trained providers, you don’t have choice.” he told The Post.

Dr Campbell has already trained seven students this year, and said he was trying to work with as many trainees as he can prior to final Roe ruling being released.

A recent study from researchers at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and UCLA found that about 45 per cent of the 6,000 accredited ob-gyn residency programmes were in states that were either certain or likely to ban abortions if Roe v Wade is overturned.

The study did not include those receiving training from family physicians or other clinicians.

Pro-choice activists protest at the Supreme Court ahead of the landmark Roe v Wade decision

The study’s lead author, Kavita Vinekar, said in a statement that abortion training also provides skills in counselling, trauma care and miscarriage management.

“Those are the skills I got in my abortion training that I use every single day in all of the non-abortion care that I do,” she said.

Jody Steinauer, director of the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health at UCSF, warned that “decimating abortion training in half the country will have far-reaching impacts”.

The Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling in a Mississippi case challenging a state law banning most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy in the coming days.

It will present a major challenge to the landmark precedent established in the 1973 ruling in Roe v Wade, which enshrined consititutional protections for the procedure.

A leak of a draft opinion in the case written by Justice Samuel Alito showed the court’s conservative majority were planning to ban abortions outright.

Another possibility is that it decides to protect abortion rights up to 15 weeks.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul last week signed into law new legislation aimed at protecting patients and abortion providers from out-of-state legal action.

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