With a Gallup poll showing 51% of Americans now calling themselves "pro-life", state legislatures going to extremes to prevent access to abortion and one body of Congress voting to de-fund Planned Parenhood, there's been little for those of us who support the remnants of Roe to celebrate lately. But at last there's some good news out of California where two hospitals, UofC, San Fransisco and Stanford, are leading the way in training new ob-gyns in family planning services, including abortion services.
At Stanford the effort is being led by Dr. Paul Blumenthal, described as a national leader in family planning research. He is quoted as saying major university medical centers around the country are increaslingly recognizing that family planning seervices, including abortion care, are "an integral mainstream component of women's health care".
According to an article in the San Jose Mercury News:
......young doctors are being educated or trained through three new programs, all originating from UCSF: Medical Students For Choice works to expand abortion education in medical schools; Family Planning Fellowships pays residents to learn abortion and contraception; and Ryan Programs gives schools seed money for abortion training on 58 campuses.
The article points out that 81% of all students studying to becaome ob-gyn specialists are women and, according to Lois Backus, director of Medical Students For Choice, this generation of female students "don't want to be told what they can't do".
"It is not at all a radical mission" said Dr. Merrie Warren, 33, who came to UofSF because of its leadership in family planning education. "Abortion is part of women's reproductive health care, so it should be part of our training".
At a time when the murder of Dr. Tiller and the death of one of our own on this site, Dr. William Harrison, is fresh in our collective memory, discovering that young women are preparing themselves to provide a necessary service to their sisters should provide all of us who care about the health and wellbeing of women and girls the encouragment we need to continue the fight for a woman's right to choose.
And while we wait for these brave young doctors to replace those who have retired or simply tired of the potential dangers abortion providers face, we need to continue lobbying our representatives and supporting Planned Parenthood with our time and donations.