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The number of abortion providers in the United States has been steadily declining over the past two decades, dropping 37% since 1982.1 The lack of readily available and accessible abortion training in medical schools and residency programs has intensified this problem.

NAF is committed to helping nursing and medical schools and residency programs work towards including abortion education in their core curricula, and connecting medical students, residents, and other health care providers with abortion training resources and opportunities.

In addition to the specific abortion training opportunities and resources NAF offers, this section also presents opportunities and resources from many of NAF's collaborating organizations.

Medical Students

The 7th Edition of Medical Student Educational Objectives, published by the Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics in 1997, identifies abortion education as an important component of medical student preparation: "Regardless of one's personal views, the practitioner should be aware of the techniques, management, and complications of induced abortions."

Many medical students interested in obtaining abortion training have had the opportunity to participate in elective rotations and clerkships with NAF member clinics and providers. Such experiences are also supported and facilitated by other pro-choice organizations and professional associations. More


Historically, didactic and clinical training in abortion has been affiliated with residency training in obstetrics and gynecology. However, it was not until 1996 that the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) mandated that "access to experience with induced abortion must be part of [obstetrics and gynecology] residency education."

In addition to obstetrics and gynecology programs, abortion training is becoming much more available in family medicine residency programs, as well as others. More

Postgraduate and Postdoctoral Training

A growing number of postgraduate and postdoctoral experiences are becoming available for health care professionals interested in pursuing advanced abortion and family planning training, international family planning experience, and research opportunities. In addition to these opportunities, NAF offers a host of additional trainings and supplemental resources to help health care professionals and abortion providers deliver the highest quality abortion care. More

Developing Training Opportunities

In an effort to help address the shortage of abortion providers in the United States, NAF began convening Residency Training Workshops in 1998 to help prepare and enable abortion clinics and providers to host resident trainees. These intensive workshops bring together clinics and nearby residency programs to facilitate the development of formal residency training partnerships. More


  1. Finer LB, Henshaw SK. The accessibility of abortion services in the United States, 2001. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 2003, 35(1):16-24

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Curriculum. NAF's 2nd Edition Clinical Training Curriculum in Abortion Practice is one of several curricula that have been developed specifically for training medical students, residents, and other health care providers in abortion care.
educational opportunities. NAF holds two major conferences each year in addition to several regional trainings.  Learn More.
Early Options CME. Earn CME credits through our online training program on medical abortion.
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