FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 17, 2021
CORE: The Collaborative for Reproductive Equity
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Contact: Samantha Herndon
UW CORE Study Highlights Physicians’ Attitudes Toward Abortion: Research Brief Reveals Majority Support for Abortion Access
A new study by UW-Madison researchers documents overwhelming support of abortion services among faculty physicians at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, with more than three-quarters of doctors expressing support for abortion access and more than nine in ten expressing concern about abortion restrictions. CORE, the UW Collaborative for Reproductive Equity, shares these findings in the research brief “Physician Support of Unrestricted Abortion Services in Wisconsin.”
The new research is part of a larger project that assessed abortion-related attitudes, practices, and perceptions among physicians of all specialties within a Wisconsin-based teaching hospital. The researchers surveyed 913 physicians who represent more than 20 medical specialties. The survey results showed:
- More than three-quarters of physicians surveyed reported at least some degree of support for unrestricted access to abortion (78% said they support unrestricted abortion access somewhat or a lot).
- 99% were at least a little concerned about legislation interfering in the doctor-patient relationship, and nearly half (48%) were extremely concerned.
- Most doctors expressed at least some level of concern that abortion laws will make it difficult for physicians to offer timely and appropriate care (93%) and for patients to receive the care they need (91%).
- Nine in ten doctors (90%) surveyed indicated that women’s health in Wisconsin would get worse if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
These findings underscore substantial physician concern that Wisconsin abortion restrictions can negatively affect patient care, the patient–provider relationship, and patients’ health.
CORE’s research suggests that Wisconsin’s abortion restrictions, which include (but are not limited to) a mandatory 24-hour waiting period, multiple clinically unnecessary constraints on medication abortion services, and the criminalization of abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned, are not in line with physician’s professional perspectives. While doctors’ personal beliefs vary, the majority of doctors surveyed report that current abortion restrictions worsen patient care and that women’s health will decline further if abortion becomes illegal in our state.
UW CORE is an initiative within the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. CORE investigators conduct rigorous, interdisciplinary research focused on reproductive health, equity, and autonomy in Wisconsin, and beyond.