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Faith-Based Hospitals Are Not Adequately Training Residents in Abortion Procedures

Sep 20, 2019

By Amy Littlefield

OB-GYN residents in programs dominated by faith-based hospitals are not receiving full reproductive health-care training, especially when it comes to abortion and postpartum sterilization, a new study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found.

The researchers found that in approximately 11 percent of OB-GYN residency programs, residents spend at least 70 percent of their time in faith-based hospitals that restrict family planning services on religious grounds. Catholic hospitals, in particular, have drawn scrutiny in recent years as they have grown to encompass at least 1 in 6 acute-care hospital beds nationwide. These facilities follow directives written by the Catholic bishops that ban abortion, sterilization, and most forms of contraception.

Among the faith-based programs that responded to the survey, nearly half failed to comply with the requirement set by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) in 1996 to provide routine, opt-out training for abortion. In the Catholic programs, specifically, about one-fourth reported that not all of their residents meet the minimum requirement of completing 20 dilation and curettages (D and Cs), a procedure used for abortion and miscarriage management.

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