Abortion provision in Colorado by advanced practice clinicians—nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives and physician assistants—is legal. Although many APCs are interested in abortion training, two-thirds believe their clinical facility is not likely to allow them to provide abortions.
Researchers mailed letters explaining the study purpose and containing a secure individual link to a survey to 2,290 APCs in Colorado, having oversampled certified nurse midwives and women’s health nurse practitioners. Data were collected between June 2018 and June 2019, and a total of 512 participants completed the survey.
“Abortion training interest does not guarantee the ability to provide abortion, and participants reported a number of facility barriers that must be addressed to increase access to abortion services with APCs.”
As states continue to restrict or eliminate access to abortion, there may be a greater need for providers to ensure abortion is accessible in states where it remains legal. In rural areas, where there are no specialized family planning clinicians and where primary care may be difficult to access, abortion provision by urgent/emergent care clinicians in particular may be a promising area of exploration. The next step to expanding access to abortion care with APCs is to identify and decrease facility-level barriers to abortion provision and design evidence-based training programs for APCs.
This study, Interest in Medication and Aspiration Abortion Training among Colorado Nurse Practitioners, Nurse Midwives, and Physician Assistants, is available in Women's Health Issues.