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Abortion Doctors require special training

Physicians who choose to specialize in abortion care take on extra education and training requirements. Usually, doctors who perform abortion are gynecologists (specialists in female reproductive health), but they may also be family practice doctors or other specialists who have learned abortion techniques. Doctors who perform abortions also know how to use the same techniques to perform a D&C and to treat ectopic (tubal) pregnancies. In four states, Advanced Practice Clinicians are authorized to provide surgical abortion or provide the abortion pill. These may be Physicianís Assistants, Nurse Practitioners, or Certified Nurse Midwives who are specially trained. Their safety record has been proven to be the same as physicians.

Physicians and other clinicians who choose to provide abortions for women do so because they believe that women should have a choice. Many older physicians remember when abortion was illegal (before 1973) and they saw women who were desperate to not be pregnant and sought illegal abortions. Illegal abortions were not usually performed by doctors or under sanitary conditions, and many women got infections, became infertile, or died from complications. Since abortion has become legal (with the Roe v. Wade decision, January 22, 1973) abortion has become the most common--and safest-- outpatient surgery in the US Abortion is still illegal or not accessible in many countries in the world, including most of South and Central America, the Middle East, and parts of Africa. For more information on the history of abortion see The History of Abortion

Medical Students for Choice was formed because many medical students were alarmed that abortion care was not being offered at most medical schools. They have corrected that bias in many medical schools and many older doctors are teaching medical students and residents abortion techniques, both surgical and non surgical. Please discuss your providerís training and experience with him or her so you may understand who is performing your abortion. For more information, see Know Your Doctors, Know Your Choices.

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