A pro-choice sneak attack

Perhaps more effective than any law that would restrict abortions is the fact that many medical schools and their students are not interested in teaching and learning about how to "terminate pregnancies."

The shortage of "abortion providers" who are trained and committed to the practice vexes the abortion industry perhaps as much as the pro-life demonstrators picketing outside their clinics. Their exasperation surfaces in their talking point that some women are affectively denied abortions because 87 percent of U.S. counties lack abortion providers.

Thus, there's a behind the scenes effort to dramatically increase the number of medical schools that provide "integrated" reproductive health care training--which is code for abortion instruction. Some pro-choice advocates would even go so far as to require the schools to provide the training and make students participate in it, even if they are morally opposed.

But pro-choice folks don't want to talk publicly about it because they are afraid of a pro-life "backlash." In that they are correct.

The entire strategy is laid out in an article in an "original reporting" site called Remapping Debate.  As the writer, Heather Rogers, revealed, she received a couple requests from the abortion industry not to publish the article because of the feared backlash. The article, "Pro-choice timidity in fighting shortage of abortion providers," must be read in its entirety, especially to the last part, to appreciate the nature of the sneak attack.

There you'll find the details of sneak attack:

Any individual or entity that either provides abortion services or seeks to broaden the availability of abortion education and training can face a backlash. Given this reality, what is the appropriate approach?

To judge from the responses and lack of responses from the people we interviewed, the most popular idea is to do one’s work unobtrusively — to try to stay beneath the radar.

According to the article:

 The researcher, who did not want to be identified by name as the author of the email, warned about “the possibility of negative effects of writing about [abortion training].” The email continued: “Drawing attention to training in the media inspires legislators to write and pass training restriction bills. That would cause a lot of problems for training and worsen access.

It appears to be a part of a larger effort to shift the brand away from "abortion providers" to health care providers:

An organization that until last fall was called the Abortion Access Project now goes by the harder-to-decode name Provide. The organization, which works in the South and Midwest, had as its initial mission encouraging doctors already in practice in areas with a shortage of abortion providers to start offering such care. Over the last six years, however, Provide has largely shifted its focus from abortion training to counseling and referral, hoping to draw in doctors and other health care workers who otherwise avoid even talking about abortion to their patients.

Then there is a debate among abortion providers about whether medical training must provide abortion training. (Those certification requirements are set by ACGME (American Council of Graduate Medical Training) ).

The long-time abortion provider Laube said that the ACGME should “crack down” on ob-gyn residency programs that don’t offer integrated abortion training. He considers the opt-in approach to be in violation of the ACGME abortion-training rule because the resident must initiate the training.

But others in the abortion rights world, including Goodman, who runs the TEACH program, have a different view. While Goodman agreed that ACGME requirements should include abortion training and that the enforcement tools (like the issuance of citations) that Laube described should be employed by the ACGME, she emphasized her concern that drawing too much attention to the issue could be “polarizing.” She said, “sometimes our efforts go further without the banner” of abortion rights, adding, “We need to be cautionary in our attempts to broaden the requirements so that we don’t just elicit more opposition than we started with.”

No wonder the abortion industry doesn't want word of this strategy to get out.

Here's a hat tip to reporter Rogers for her well-researched and thorough article and for her and her editors' professionalism for publishing the story in the face of disapproval of the abortion industry. All it lacked was reaction from the pro-life side of the issue. 



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