Factors associated with provision of elective abortions among US obstetrician-gynecologists 

Factors associated with provision of elective abortions among US


J. Steinauer, U. Landy, R. Jackson, P. Darney 

Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of

California, San Francisco, USA 

Introduction: The number of abortion providers

has continued to decrease in the US. We sought to investigate what factors

correlate with elective abortion provision. 

Aims and Methods: An anonymous,

validated, two-page survey mailed to all 5,000 ob-gyns who became

board-certified between 1998 and 2001 inquired about demographics, career,

abortion attitudes, residency training, intention to provide abortions prior to

residency, and current abortion provision. We performed logistic regression

models including all variables significantly associated (p<. 1) with abortion provision in univariate analyses, including a previously validated abortion attitude score. 

Results: Two thousand one hundred thirty-eight (43%) surveys

were returned. Seventy-two percent (1540) stated that some abortion training had

been available in residency, of whom 901 (62%) participated in training.

Elective abortions were currently provided by 502 (23%). Thirty-four percent

worked in hospitals that prohibit abortion provision, and 16% worked in

practices that prohibit abortion provision. Prior to residency 33% had planned

to provide abortions, 50% had planned to not provide abortions, and 17% had been

undecided. In multivariate analyses, residency training availability increased

the odds of elective abortion provision (OR 2.60, p<.001.). Factors that negatively correlated with provision included religiosity (OR 0.70, p=.005), membership in a practice that prohibits abortion provision (OR 0.45, p<.001), association with a hospital that prohibits provision (OR 0.42, p<.001), and practice in a rural setting (OR 0.51, p=.001). Residency training availability was independently correlated with provision regardless of intention to provide abortion prior to residency. 

Conclusions: Residency abortion training

availability increased the likelihood of abortion provision when controlling for

abortion beliefs, religiosity, practice location, subspecialty status, and

hospital/practice policy, regardless of intention to provide abortions before


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