Abortion: When Politics Meets Practice
By Alana Cartens For most of my life I have danced around the sidelines of the reproductive justice movement, always supporting, but more actively involved in work around racial justice and international human rights. Attending the Medical Students for Choice Conference on Family Planning last December shifted my focus to see how, in many ways, …
Students at medical schools across Ireland have teamed together to create MSFC in Ireland. In a country where abortion is highly restricted, MSFC has a goal to increase reproductive healthcare education for medical students. If you are a student or ally in Ireland and would like to be involved, email [email protected] and visit the MSFC Ireland Facebook page for up-to-date information.
MSFC Ireland Annual Conference
MSFC members in Ireland and Northern Ireland organize an intensive day of education from reproductive health experts and advocates each year. In 2015 the theme was “Stigma Busting in Reproductive Health” and dozens of students from 5 medical schools in Ireland and Northern Ireland attended.
In 2015 speakers included:
-Gunilla Kleiverda from Women on Web
-Jon O’Brien from Catholics for Choice,
-Ann Furedi from British Pregnancy Advisory Service
Previous speakers at past conferences include Doctors for Choice Ireland, NYU School of Medicine Division of Family Planning, Transgender Equality Network Ireland, Galway Sexual Assaualt Unit and many more inspiring health care providers.
MSFC leaders continue to advocate for comprehensive abortion and reproductive health training in Irish medical schools. Currently, medical students at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland are assessing student perspectives on abortion training, identifying curriculum gaps, and recruiting academic advocates.
Student leaders at Trinity College Dublin successfully organized a Mirena IUD Insertion workshop with medical students from the Dublin area. Attendees learned about long-acting reversible contraceptives and practiced IUD insertion, a skill not routinely offered in medical school curriculum.
“Hosting our first student workshop was also a step towards increasing awareness about MSFC Ireland and our activities among medical students at Trinity College, as well as medical schools all over Ireland.” – Student Leader in Ireland
The Irish chapter also hosts an annual event for International Women’s Week at Trinity College Dublin.
Reproductive Health Externship
MSFC’s Reproductive Health Externship helps medical students in Ireland access clinical exposure to abortion procedures by travelling to England or other countries abroad. Thanks to a partnership with BPAS, 11 students took advantage of this opportunity in 2014 to learn more about abortion care.