Providers who are trained and able to provide abortions are critical to ensuring people have access to the full spectrum of reproductive health care. However, for political and historical reasons, there is a shortage of abortion providers around the country and in other parts of the world.
The shortage of abortion providers in the U.S. exists for a variety of reasons. Most states have restrictions on abortion services and clinics that provide this care, all of which make it harder for clinicians to offer abortion services. Historically and today, abortion providers face a great deal of stigma and violence. Interested clinicians often have difficulty securing training in abortion care. In addition, a majority of states forbid certain health care practitioners, like nurses, midwives, and physician assistants from providing abortion care.
ANSIRH studies show that nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, and physician assistants can safely and competently provide early abortion care and that women appreciate receiving care from these providers. In 2014, California law was changed to expand who could provide early abortion care based on this research.
Our research also covers the experiences of providers, barriers they face in abortion training or provision, and how health departments are engaging in abortion-related services.