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OB-GYN Residents Explain Complexity Of Training To Provide Abortions17:21

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Pro-life and anti-abortion demonstrators converge in front of the Supreme Court in Washington Jan. 22, 2015. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)closemore
Pro-life and anti-abortion demonstrators converge in front of the Supreme Court in Washington Jan. 22, 2015. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

There are few issues more polarizing in American society than abortion.

It has sparked a long, passionate and contentious debate. And, too often, it's laid out in stark black and white terms: either you favor a woman's right to choose or you favor the unborn's right to live, and never the twain shall meet.

But one set of voices around this issue that's rarely heard comes from the physicians who are trained to perform the procedure, and their perspectives cast the debate in a more nuanced light.

Janet Singer, a nurse midwife at Brown University's obstetrics and gynecology residency program, asked four medical residents to write about how they feel about abortion training and performing the procedure. She wrote about it in the current issue of the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Note: Because of personal safety concerns, the residents' names were not used.

Guest

Janet Singer, nurse midwife on the faculty of Brown University's obstetrics-gynecology residency program. Lead author of "Four Residents’ Narratives on Abortion Training" in the July issue of the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Clerk on the board of Provide.

Resident Two, resident in Brown University's Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency Program. Received abortion training but does not expect to provide them.

Resident Three, resident in Brown University's Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency Program. Received abortion training and does expect to provide them.

More

CommonHealth: Docs In Training Confide Their Feelings On Performing Abortions

  • "Tricky questions continued to arise: Where does life actually begin? How do doctors’ personal beliefs play out in their clinical care? And, what’s really best for mothers?"

Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology: Four Residents' Narratives On Abortion Training: A Residency Climate Of Reflection, Support, And Mutual Respect

  • "The decision on the part of obstetrics and gynecology residents to opt in or out of abortion training is, for many, a complex one. Although the public debate surrounding abortion can be filled with polarizing rhetoric, residents often discover that the boundaries between pro-choice and pro-life beliefs are not so neatly divided."

The Atlantic: The Scarcity Of Abortion Training In America's Medical Schools

  • "Many students who want instruction aren't able to find it. And those who get it, like me, often aren't willing to move to the areas of greatest need."

This segment aired on July 30, 2015.

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