Privileging Midwives for Abortion Care

Keeley McNamara, Marisa Poverman, Marisa Nádas, Michaela Mallow, Sharon Gerber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Since the US Supreme Court overturned Dobbs v Jackson, expanded access to abortion has been critical. Abortion is safe, and related complications are rare. The safety of abortion provision by advanced practice clinicians (APCs) is well documented. Despite the increase in targeted restrictions for patients and clinicians in many states post-Dobbs, in recent years there have been meaningful gains in recognition and codification of abortion as part of an expanded scope of practice for APCs. Thus, creating a formal written pathway for midwives to obtain privileges in abortion provision could also improve abortion access. In New York City's public health care system, the largest in the United States, midwives provide a significant portion of perinatal and gynecologic care. Yet, until recently, a process to privilege midwives in the provision of abortion services did not exist. In response, midwives and physicians at a large New York City hospital system sought key stakeholder support to develop a pathway for certified nurse-midwives and certified midwives, licensed midwives in New York state, to obtain the necessary training needed for independent abortion provision. This article describes the development of a midwifery-led pilot program to improve abortion access by increasing the availability of trained midwifery abortion providers, along with the results of staff meetings exploring attitudes toward abortion care by APCs. We report our safety statistics from this pilot program and share existing evidence for safety of abortion provision by midwives and other APCs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)769-773
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Midwifery and Women's Health
Volume68
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • abortion
  • contraception/family planning
  • interprofessional collaboration
  • reproductive justice

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