Following the U.S. Supreme Court decision in June ending constitutionally protected abortion rights, Einstein and Montefiore have reaffirmed their commitment to safe and legal abortion and to protecting patients as well as the professionals who are providing these services.
More than 930,000 legal abortions were performed in the U.S. in 2020, making the surgical procedure one of the nation’s most common performed on women. The decision’s effect on marginalized populations will be particularly acute, since barriers to abortion disproportionately harm those with limited resources, including residents in rural areas and Black and indigenous people. In addition, barely one-half of obstetrics-gynecology residents will now have access to in-state abortion training.
In response, Einstein and Montefiore are gearing up to welcome medical residents from out-of-state institutions that restrict the procedure, so that they can be trained in abortion care.
“We’re trying to ensure that there is a future where we have clinicians who are still able to do this procedure,” says Antoinette Danvers, M.D., associate professor of obstetrics & gynecology and women’s health at Einstein and the director of the complex family planning division at Montefiore. She warned of the “devastating long-term impact” on patients, especially women of color, due to a lack of trained doctors.
Training physicians from other states will require unraveling complex license and insurance requirements; dealing with schedules, costs, and travel; developing partnerships with distant clinics; and ensuring that those efforts stay within legal bounds.
“Our department and our institution oppose any attack on reproductive rights and are committed to maintaining access to all reproductive healthcare, including abortion,” says Sharmila Makhija, M.D., M.B.A., professor and the Chella and Moise Safra Chair of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women’s Health at Einstein and Montefiore.