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Research project

Chilean Medical and Midwifery Students’ Willingness to Provide Abortion Services

In 2017, abortion in Chile was decriminalized. Now women can legally access abortion in cases of rape, lethal fetal anomaly, and to preserve a woman’s life.

This study is assessing whether future women’s health professionals in Chile welcome or are prepared for this legal change.  A better understanding of their attitudes about and willingness to provide abortion is critical to identifying reproductive health training needs and the barriers that would need to be overcome if abortion were liberalized in Chile.

In collaboration with researchers in Chile, we currently are conducting a mixed methods study. It includes over 30 in-depth qualitative interviews with midwifery and medical school faculty about whether and how abortion is integrated in their curriculum, as well as their willingness to teach abortion to their students.

We also are surveying approximately 300 ob/gyn residents and midwifery students from six universities in the metropolitan region of Santiago. The survey assesses students’ willingness to provide abortion, their attitudes about liberalizing Chile’s abortion law, and their attitudes towards confidentiality, parental consent for minors, conscientious objection, and increasing information about and availability of misoprostol as a harm-reduction strategy.

This study will provide estimates of the proportion of future providers who are willing to refer, counsel, or provide abortion care.

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ANSIRH is a program within the UCSF Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health and is a part of UCSF's Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences.

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