Half of Health Professionals Receive No Training in Abortion Care
A recent study of advanced practice clinician (APC) training programs, which train nurse practitioners, physician assistants and certified nurse-midwives, found that nearly half of such programs fail to offer training in abortion procedures, options counseling, or post-abortion care. Such haphazard training of reproductive health professionals is believed to contribute to the 87 percent decline in abortion providers around the country since 1982. The survey was conducted by Ibis Reproductive Health, the National Abortion Federation and the Abortion Access Project, and the results were published in the April issue of Contraception.
Many programs that lack abortion training said that it was absent from the curriculum because it was “not a curricular priority,” while others admitted avoiding it because of the politically charged nature of abortion. The authors of the study also pointed to the challenges programs face in incorporating abortion education; there is less opportunity for training, as abortion providers become more scarce and abortion services are offered in specialty clinics, while religious healthcare networks may prohibit such training in their facilities. Melanie Zurek of the Abortion Access Project suggested that abortion training be re-imagined as a component of early pregnancy management, and taught alongside issues such as miscarriage.
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .