Abortion training in U.S. obstetrics and gynecology residency programs in a post-Dobbs era


Aurora Sinai Medical Center


Objectives:The ACGME requires all obstetrics and gynecology residents have access to "opt-out" abortion training. The impact of Dobbs v Jackson on training remains unknown. We aimed to describe residency programs affected by abortion bans and those lacking abortion training despite permissive state abortion policies. We considered demographic data to understand the impacts on residents underrepresented in medicine.

Study design:We used publicly available databases and program websites to abstract data. We identified programs offering routine abortion training as either those with Ryan Programs or those with website or email acknowledgment of training. We defined states with abortion bans as those with either complete or 6-week bans as of December 2022. We used chi-square and student's T tests in descriptive analyses and performed a logistic regression to adjust for demographic and program-specific variables.

Results:Of 286 residency programs included, 140 (49%) offered routine abortion training prior to Dobbs. As of December 2022, 19 of these (14%) had lost the ability to provide routine in-state abortion training. Of 223 residency programs in states with legal abortion, 102 (46%) programs lacked routine abortion training. These sites were more likely to be community or community-university programs, with graduates more likely to practice as generalists. Resident race/ethnicity did not differ between residents in states with legal abortion versus abortion bans.

Conclusions:Nearly half of obstetrics and gynecology residency programs in states with legal abortion do not appear to provide routine abortion training. Further work is needed to understand this paucity of training and to maximize access in legislatively permissible environments.

Implications:Following Dobbs, 14% of residency programs lost in-state abortion training. Notably, in states with legal abortion, 46% of programs lack routine abortion training despite permissive legislation. This presents a window of opportunity for expansion of abortion training, particularly at community and community-university hybrid residency sites.



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