Only 14 Percent Of Ob-Gyns Will Perform Abortions

Illustration for article titled Only 14 Percent Of Ob-Gyns Will Perform Abortions

A survey of 1,800 practicing ob-gyns found that while 97 percent of them have encountered a woman seeking an abortion, only 14 percent are willing or able to provide them.


Of the doctors who do perform abortions, some interesting demographic facts could be gleaned: Female doctors were almost twice as likely (18.6 percent versus 10.6 percent) to provide abortions than their male colleagues.

Doctors ages 26-35 are most likely to perform abortions, perhaps due to a renewed wave of awareness or activism — Medical Students for Choice was founded in the mid-nineties, after a pamphlet "joking" that abortion providers should be shot was distributed to thousands of medical students, and after a doctor was murdered. Or maybe, as was jokingly suggested today, it's because of the heavy rotation of Dirty Dancing on basic cable when that generation was growing up.

Perhaps relatedly, Jewish doctors are by far the likeliest to perform abortions:

40.2 percent of Jewish doctors say yes, compared with
1.2 percent of Evangelical Protestants
9 percent of Roman Catholics or Eastern Orthodox
10.1 percent of Non-Evangelical Protestants
20 percent of Hindus
26.5 percent of doctors who said they had no religious affiliation

So are doctors working in the Northeast or the West, and in cities rather than rural areas.

Study: A Declining Share Of Ob-Gyns Offer Abortions [Kaiser Health News]
Related: Medical Students For Choice [Official Site]



The tone of some of these threads disturbs me. Does anyone genuinely, seriously 'wish' they could become an abortion provider? If so, that strikes me as extremely macabre.

Whether or not you think abortion is a necessary service to offer (and I do), we ought to remember the distinction between 'pro-choice' and 'pro-abortion'. At the end of the day, elective (ie. non-medically necessary) abortion is the opposite of everything a doctor otherwise does in their job - it is killing something which isn't sick and isn't making anyone else sick. If many doctors feel they cannot reconcile this act with the life-preserving demands of their profession, they should have an enshrined right not to participate.

I understand that the situation is heated over there in the US at the moment, which tends to encourage extreme rhetoric on both sides, but this kind of talk only further polarises the debate.