A publication currently available online in the journal SSM – Population Health examines physicians’ knowledge of referral for abortion care. UW Collaborative for Reproductive Equity Director Jenny Higgins, PhD, as well as former UW Ob-Gyn members Cynthie Wautlet, MD and Nicholas Schmuhl, PhD, are co-authors on the study.
“Willing but unable: Physicians' referral knowledge as barriers to abortion care” looks at survey responses from more than 600 physician faculty across more than 20 medical specialties at an academic medical center who responded they were at least somewhat willing to consult in abortion care. Among those who responded they were at least somewhat willing to consult in abortion care, just over half did not know how or to whom to make referrals for abortion care:
“Even though they were willing to refer a patient for an abortion, half (53%) of the physicians did not know how and whom to make those referrals, though they care for patients who may need them. Those with the least referral knowledge had not been taught abortion care during their medical training and were in earlier stages of their career than those who had more knowledge. This research exposes another obstacle for those seeking an abortion, a barrier that would be overcome with a clear and robust referral system within and across medical specialties.”
Read the whole study here.