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Increasing access by expanding knowledge: The Medical Abortion Education Project

Susan Eisendrath, MPH1, Ann Gerhardt, MPH2, Tori Lallemont1, Shana Brown, MPH1, and Alyssa Lederer1. (1) Reproductive Health Initiative, American Medical Women's Association, 801 N. Fairfax St., Suite 400, Alexandria, VA 22314, (2) National Abortion Federation, 1755 Massachusetts Ave. N.W., Washington, DC 20036, 202-667-5881, agerhardt@prochoice.org

As a new reproductive health option for women, medical abortion needs to be integrated into mainstream medicine. To establish medical abortion, it must become a standard part of training and education for medical students and health professionals. In 2001, the Medical Abortion Education Project (MAEP) was launched as a unique collaborative project between the American Medical Womenís Associationís Reproductive Health Initiative (RHI), Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Healthģ (PRCH), the National Abortion Federation (NAF), and the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP). Maximizing the unique strengths of four national organizations committed to reproductive health, MAEP has delivered educational programs to more than 4,000 medical students and health professionals nationwide by NAF-trained faculty, and expects to reach 6,000 by the end of March 2005. MAEP programs are evaluated by administering a questionnaire to determine how many medical students and health professionals are more likely to provide medical abortion after the presentation. According to 500 questionnaires collected in 2002, 59% of MAEP participants indicated they would be more likely to consider providing medical abortion after the presentation. While evaluations cannot accurately predict how many participants go on to provide medical abortion, the number of participants indicates that our goal of educating medical students and health care providers outside the pool of current abortion providers is being met. MAEP is an excellent example of a national collaborative project that is providing a unique educational benefit for health care professionals and ultimately increasing access to a valuable reproductive health option for women.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant in this session will be able to

Keywords: Training, Abortion

Related Web page: www.amwa-doc.org/RHI.htm

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The Struggle to Maintain or Expand Access to Safe Abortion Services in the U.S

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA