Abortion Training Initiative in New York City Hospitals

In The New York City Mayoral Abortion Training Initiative at Public Hospitals, published in Contraception, authors Maryam Guiahi, et al, set out to describe and understand the first-ever abortion training political initiative on the provision of abortion services and abortion residency training.

In 2002, NARAL/NY obtained the support of newly elected Mayor Michael Bloomberg to integrate residency training in abortion care into the eight New York City (NYC) public hospitals that have OB/GYN training programs. The authors completed in-depth interviews with 22 participants who have knowledge of abortion training and services in the NYC public hospital system before and/or after the initiative.

In these interviews, respondents identified strategies that helped achieve renovation of abortion facilities, updating of abortion services and protocols, and training of abortion providers. The initiative led to the introduction of several modern abortion methods including medication abortion and MVAs for first-trimester abortions and D&Es for second-trimester abortion. The initiative also expanded the provision of immediate postabortion contraception. Respondents also identified public health impacts including improvement of abortion services, empowerment of abortion providers, and legitimization of abortion training and services.

Authors concluded that this political initiative should be a model for other city governments to influence obstetrics and gynecology resident training and the provision of abortion services.

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