The journal Contraception has published new research by UW-Madison’s Nicholas B. Schmuhl, PhD, Laurel W. Rice, MD, Cynthia K. Wautlet, MD, and Jenny A. Higgins, PhD. The article is part of a larger research project based at UW CORE, the Collaborative for Reproductive Equity. The authors’ objective was to assess abortion-related attitudes, practices, and perceptions among physicians of all specialties within a Wisconsin-based teaching hospital.
The researchers surveyed 913 physicians at UW School of Medicine and Public Health. They found that 80% of physicians surveyed reported at least some degree of support for abortion access, and 84% of physicians surveyed reported at least some degree of support for physicians who provide abortions. Physicians who perceived less support for abortion among their peers also reported less willingness to consult in abortion-related care, regardless of specialty. In their article, the authors wrote:
“Our findings have implications for abortion care access and quality in Wisconsin, as well as professional quality of life for physicians who directly and indirectly participate in abortion care. These misperceptions have tangible consequences for access and quality of abortion care, as physicians who estimated relatively lower support among peers were less willing to consult in abortion-related cases. This discrepancy was greatest among specialties commonly associated with abortion care.”
Read the study here.