An American group called Medical Students for Choice (MSFC) has announced plans to fund abortion training for medical students in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Medical Students for Choice was established in 1993 with the mission of creating “tomorrow’s abortion providers and pro-choice physicians.” To that end, the organization seeks to reform the curriculum in medical schools and residency programs to include abortion training.
According to the British newspaper The Guardian, the students on the MSFC externships will observe roughly 60 abortions at British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) clinics where they will be mentored by experienced abortion personnel. Every year, MSFC puts $100,000 into its overseas programs and $70,000 into its programs in the United States.
Patricia Lohr, the medical director of BPAS, noted, “”We hope these externships will inspire the doctors of tomorrow to consider a career providing this key component of women’s healthcare. It’s also really important students get exposed to women having abortions.”
Anthony Ozimic, communications manager for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children in the United Kingdom, commented, “This reflects the desperation of the abortion industry to recruit enough interest among medical students. It’s been the case for many years that there have been fewer and fewer students and doctors willing to be involved. That’s partly due to an increased awareness of the unethical nature of abortion.”
Mr. Ozimic may have a point about the situation in the United States as well. A recent study conducted at the University of Chicago found that far fewer doctors here are willing to do abortion than in previous years. The nationwide survey found that only 14% of obstetricians and gynocologists were willing to perform abortions, a significant decline from 22% in 2008.
Britain has seen a similar lack of interest in the medical community in becoming an abortionist. According to the The Guardian, there is an “acute shortage of expert abortion practitioners” in the U.K. with fewer than a dozen doctors able to perform surgical abortions up to 24 weeks, which is the legal limit.
The researchers at the University of Chicago discovered that religious reasons were a significant factor in influencing the physicians’ choice, with a high percentage of Catholic, Protestant, and other religiously affiliated doctors unwilling to conduct the procedure.
Dr. John Bruchalski, founder of the Tepeyac Family Center in Fairfax, Virgina, and lecturer with Medical Students for Life, recently spoke to a group of medical students, “Doing the procedure, the actual transmission through the instrument to your hand to who you are as a person, is a difficult thing to do.”
Despite the money being pumped into the MSFC programs both stateside and abroad, medical students sincerely interested in health and helping women will avoid abortion training and focus instead on fostering life and pursuing positive alternatives. Lack of interest in pursuing abortion as a career is a trend from which mothers and children alike can benefit.
Nora Sullivan is a Research Assistant at Charlotte Lozier Institute.