Access to abortion has already become increasingly difficult. Now, it seems that doctors themselves may be turning into the next roadblock.
Ninety-seven percent of OB-GYNs have encountered patients wanting an abortion, but only 14 percent of the doctors perform them, according to a study published today in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology. That finding suggests a smaller percentage of OB-GYNs may be offering abortion services than previous studies have estimated.
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Access to abortion has become more limited over the past few decades, the researchers write. Another recent study found that in 2008, 87 percent of U.S. counties (where 35 percent of reproductive-aged women live) didn’t have any abortion providers. Since 1996, however, all OB-GYN residents have been required to learn how to perform the procedure.
Some non-surprising facts from the study — among those providers who identify as religious Jewish doctors are much more likely to be willing to perform abortions (doctors of other denominations are almost always unwilling to perform an abortion), you are less likely to find a willing doctor in rural areas than in urban areas, and female doctors are more likely to provide than male doctors.