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Abortion-related attitudes and practice among physicians in New Mexico: has medical abortion increased access?

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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/9753

Abortion-related attitudes and practice among physicians in New Mexico: has medical abortion increased access?

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Title: Abortion-related attitudes and practice among physicians in New Mexico: has medical abortion increased access?
Author: Espey, Eve; Ogburn, Tony; Leeman, Larry; Eyman, Candace; Diaz, Michelle
Subject(s): Medical abortion
Abortion-related attitudes
New Mexico
Abstract: Abortion-related attitudes and practice among physicians in New Mexico: has medical abortion increased access? Objective: Although New Mexico does not have some of the harsh restrictions imposed on abortion found in other states, but access is still limited due to the lack of providers. Another study was conducted in 2001, just after FDA approval of medical abortion with mifepristone. This follow-up study aims to examine whether access to abortion in New Mexico has changed since the approval and to identify the current demographics of abortion providers, attitudes about abortion, and barriers to providing terminations. Methods: A self-administered questionnaire was mailed to all OB/GYNs and an equivalent number of randomly selected family physicians currently practicing in New Mexico. Questions assessed demographics and attitudes toward abortion. A sample size of N=400 was projected to provide a power of 80% and detect a 15% difference (alpha=.05) with a response rate of 50%. Data was analyzed utilizing Chi square. Results: Family practice and OB/GYN providers' attitudes and practice patterns are similar to those observed in 2001. Twenty-two abortion providers were identified (3 FP and 19 OB/GYN) similar to data in 2001. Statistically significant barriers for family practice physicians remain lack of training, lack of ultrasound equipment/experience, and concern for complications with lack of surgical backup. OB/GYNs cite personal belief as their primary barrier. There has been an increase in the number of providers of medical abortion in the state since the FDA approval of mifepristone (p=0.0397. Approximately 16% of respondents received CME in the use of mifepristone since 2000. Conclusion: This study provided insight into the current practices and barriers to providing abortion in New Mexico. We recommend continued efforts to increase access to abortion training in residencies, increased awareness about abortion to ensure that patients are receiving accurate information and appropriate referral, and continued allocation of resources to provide CME training in mifepristone. Supported in part by the University of New Mexico School of Medicine and The University of New Mexico Hospital Department of OB/GYN.
Date: 2009-08-18
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/9753

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