This week, the Washington Post published the article, “Abortion Stigma Affects Doctors’ Training and Choices,” highlighting the diminishing number of physicians willing to perform abortions.
In the article, Devin Miller, leader of the abortion rights group Medical Students for Choice at Virginia Commonwealth University, says, “I think for a lot of students right now, it’s very hard to be confronted with the constant negative energy and constant fighting [that surrounds abortion]…. There’s this feeling it’s dirty and should not be spoken about.”
The stigma in the Post article is just one form of the many barriers women face when seeking abortion services. In the Center’s report, Defending Human Rights: Abortion Providers Facing Threats, Restrictions, and Harassment, it covers the variety of ways stigma has deterred physicians from providing abortions, resulting in a shortage of doctors.
From the report:
“Stigma results in economic pressure on physicians not to perform abortions, including by the presence or threat of anti-abortion activity at their private practices. Many medical practices and institutions prohibit doctors from performing abortions, even outside of the practice or hospital.
The negative attitude of medical professionals contributes to women’s fear, lack of information, and negative experiences when seeking to obtain an abortion.”