2017 Conference on Family Planning


MSFC’s Conference on Family Planning is renowned for providing medical students and students of other health professions the abortion and family planning education they will not receive during their formal schooling. From hands-on opportunities to learn techniques to thoughtful explorations of personal issues related to providing abortion, MSFC’s Conference on Family Planning provides a safe environment for learning and networking with fellow students and mentors.

More than 5,000 students have attended this conference over the past 20 years and many have returned as teaching faculty for this extraordinary conference.

Stay tuned for more information on the 2017 conference.


December 2-3, 2017
Philadelphia, PA

Registration Information:

Registration opens on Friday, September 1, 2017.

Students, Residents, and Pro-choice Colleagues: $150

The Registration Deadline is Thursday, October 26, 2017.


Student Group Registration Special

Bring a group of students and take advantage of our Student Group Registration Special!

Register 5 students at $150, and the 6th registration is only $75. All 6 registrations must be submitted together. For more information, please email [email protected].

For more information, please contact the MSFC staff at 215-625-0800 or [email protected]

The schedule for 2017 has yet to be determined.  Below are the sessions and workshops from the 2016 conference.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

 9:00 AM – 10:15 AM                KEYNOTE ADDRESS

Recognizing Your Power to Shape the Future of Reproductive Health Care

Throughout her career, Dr. Raegan McDonald-Mosley has been dedicated to improving the reproductive health outcomes for women in her community and for those in underserved regions of the world.  Dr. Raegan’s career has been framed and influenced by her early exposure to reproductive rights and access to safe legal abortion as a college and medical student. During a transformative experience, Dr. Raegan had the opportunity to travel to sub-Saharan Africa where she learned exactly what it meant for women and their families when safe and legal abortion services are not available. Experiences like these are what lead Dr. Raegan to dedicate her life and career to improving access to birth control and abortion services for all women.
Today, Dr. Raegan is an active abortion provider who believes that compassionate, non-judgmental care is one of the most impactful and rewarding aspects of providing health care to her patients. Dr. Raegan joined PPFA as chief medical officer in the summer of 2015, where she represents the national organization as a leader and innovator in the health care field, and continues to provide abortion and reproductive health care to patients at Planned Parenthood in Baltimore, MD.

 10:30 AM – 11:45 AM               CONCURRENT SESSIONS

Global Reproductive Politics and the Zika Virus

Grounded in the context of reproductive health impacts from infectious disease outbreaks, this workshop will explore the issues underlying a worldwide dialog around abortion and contraception access related to the Zika epidemic. The workshop will also review the year’s pitfalls and progress, focusing on countries with the highest burden of Zika disease* and the most restrictive contraception and abortion settings.

*The workshop content will be updated based on the current situation at the time of the conference.

 Non-judgmental Contraceptive Counseling at the time of an Abortion

In this session, the presenters will discuss the importance of contraceptive counseling as part of abortion care. Participants will think through what contraceptive counseling at an abortion appointment looks like and practice having non-judgmental and informative conversations with patients.

 Patient Autonomy and the Role of Physician Conscience

This workshop will explore the meaning of conscience and underscore the importance of support for women’s autonomy in relation to the provision of abortion services.  It will offer an opportunity to examine key values in societal and personal views regardless of religious beliefs, and how personal values may come into conflict with support for reproductive choice.  It will provide participants with an opportunity to grapple with potentially challenging issues around abortion and suggest strategies to best defend and advance women’s reproductive choice as future providers and advocates for women’s autonomy.

 First Trimester Abortion

This session will review the techniques for first trimester surgical abortion, including anesthesia, surgical approach, and complications. Participants will also review regimens and best practices for medication abortion.

Hands-on Training: Immediate Postpartum IUD Insertion

This interactive training session will begin with a didactic lecture that explains the efficacy, safety, and advantages of initiation of LARC (Long Acting Reversible Contraception). Following the didactic portion, attendees will work in small groups along with the physicians to learn and practice IPP (Immediate Post-Partum) IUD insertion techniques using Mama-U uterus models, which simulate an IPP uterus. The moderator will discuss resources available for increasing immediate postpartum LARC knowledge and IUD insertion skill development.

12:00 PM – 1:30 PM                 LUNCHEON & AWARDS

 1:45 PM – 3:00 PM                  CONCURRENT SESSIONS

 Fighting Back in the Courts and State Capitols: Litigation and Legislative Trends in the U.S.

This session will provide an overview of current legislation and pending legal cases that could affect access to reproductive healthcare.  Topics will include restrictions on medication abortion, bans on abortions after 20 weeks, parental involvement laws, laws requiring providers to have hospital admitting privileges, and other targeted regulations of abortion providers. Strategies for getting involved as advocates will also be discussed.

Emergency Contraception: It’s Complicated! Providing Our Patients with a Last Chance to Prevent Pregnancy

This session will focus on three emergency contraception (EC) options, how they work, and how to decide the best option with your patient. There will be discussion on what you can do as a provider to help educate your patient and remove unnecessary barriers to access and use of EC.

 Exploring Critical Contributions to Abortion Access Beyond Provision

This panel of former Medical Students for Choice leaders will describe their practice and discuss the many ways, outside of abortion provision, that doctors can contribute to better reproductive health for their patients.

Incorporating Family Planning into Research and Critical Inquiry – Putting Abortion on your Medical School’s Agenda

This workshop will discuss ways to incorporate family planning topics into academic and research training requirements. This session will identify key papers in family planning for journal clubs and critical appraisal sessions. Groups will work together to develop questions or project ideas based on personal interests. Research doesn’t have to be boring, and not every abortion lecture needs to be about ethics – come share your ideas and make a difference!

Abortion Techniques: A Hands-on Training

Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA) is a safe and easy method of providing early surgical abortion. It is also used for miscarriage management, treatment of failed medical abortion, and endometrial biopsy. This session will give students an introduction to the equipment and techniques used for Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA). Attendees will work in small groups with physicians to learn these skills.


Join abortion providers as they share their stories in an informal dialogue. Hear why they chose to provide abortion as part of their practice/specialty; where they practice; what is meaningful/rewarding to them about their work; what is challenging about their work; and if they have been harassed or targeted by anti-choice groups/individuals and how they deal with it.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

9:00 AM – 10:15 AM             CONCURRENT SESSIONS

Family Planning Access for Vulnerable Populations

This session will discuss the reproductive health disparities in often over-looked communities where abortion and contraceptive access are especially difficult. A panel of experts will present information for three vulnerable populations: refugees, LGBT individuals, and incarcerated women.

Medical Professionalism in Abortion Care

Using typical challenges in difficult family planning cases, this workshop will address how to provide the highest quality care for patients using empathy and professionalism.

Contraception 101, or maybe 202!: A Case-based Lecture and Discussion with Q&A

This session will discuss contraception as an integral part of primary care and family planning. Using evidence based resources, a tiered approach to contraception counseling will be discussed including an overview of birth control methods such as barrier methods, hormonal contraceptives, injectable hormones, long-acting reversible methods, sterilization, and abstinence.

1 in 3: Dispelling Myths about Abortion

This session will use an open and honest approach to discuss family planning AND abortion. Attendees will talk about the thing that no one wants to talk about – the very much feared and terribly misunderstood A-word-ABORTION!  Learn to dispel common myths and misconceptions about abortion and help start open conversations.

 10:30 AM – 11:45 AM           CONCURRENT SESSIONS

 Comprehensive Reproductive Healthcare and our Transgender Patients

A panel of experts will discuss the special reproductive health issues often faced by transgender patients and participants will have an opportunity to learn and discuss practice approaches for providing best care to their patients.

 The Turnaway Study: Consequences of Receiving versus Being Denied a Wanted Abortion

The session will discuss the results of a five year longitudinal study that followed 1,000 women seeking abortions. This study follows what happened to women who have had abortions and those that were denied wanted abortions. This session will provide an overview of the study rationale and design; share results on physical health, mental health, emotions, relationships, socioeconomic wellbeing, subsequent pregnancies and the wellbeing of children; and discuss some of the ways in which Turnaway Study results have been disseminated.

An Overview of Second Trimester Abortion: the Science and the Medicine

This session will review the basics of second trimester abortion. This includes the discussion of available techniques and approaches, and minimizing risks and complications.

Medical Abortion: A Worldwide Review of the Latest Guidelines

This session will review the evidence-based regimens for medical abortion and key clinical issues in Canada. He will also address the most up-to-date guideline worldwide making this lecture relevant to students from any country.




MSFC is now accepting session proposals to be presented at our 2017 Conference on Family Planning.

Twelve proposals will be accepted. Session proposals can be for lectures, panels or interactive sessions. Each session will consist of an hour for the presentation and fifteen minutes for questions. Topics should cover:

  • The latest medical or social science research related to abortion and family planning, or
  • Developments in reproductive health pertinent to medical students such as legal and funding changes.

Guidelines for Submission

For more information please view our Call for Submissions.

Don’t miss your chance to exhibit in 2017 at the premier conference for students in the health professions interested in family planning.

We are looking for residency and fellowship programs and fellow pro-choice organizations to exhibit and interact with medical students during the weekend conference. This is an amazing opportunity to network with student, residents, physicians and colleagues from the global reproductive health community.

For more information, please view our 2017 exhibitor application or e-mail [email protected]

The Medical Students for Choice Conference on Family Planning is the premier conference for medical students interested in reproductive health and family planning!

We bring in expert faculty from around the world to cover a wide range of reproductive health topics. More often than not, these workshops and seminars cover subject matter excluded from the standard medical school curriculum. Lectures and interactive workshops incorporate:

  • abortion and family planning
  • hands-on training in reproductive health skills
  • international family planning
  • advocacy and activism

Who should attend? Any medical student, health professional student, or resident interested in women’s health. You will join over 300 students and residents interested in all aspects of women’s reproductive health.

When is it? December 2-3, 2017

Where is it? Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

How much does it cost?   $150.00 if registered by October 26, 2017. Late/on-site registration is $175 per person. The registration fee includes breakfast and lunch on both Saturday and Sunday, in addition to unbeatable educational content. MSFC heavily subsidizes the cost of this conference to bring you this experience for the lowest possible price.

Why should I attend? Expert faculty, high-quality education, hands-on training opportunities, the chance to be around hundreds of students and residents who are passionate about abortion and family planning – the list goes on and on. If you are at all interested in reproductive health, you won’t want to miss the Conference on Family Planning.

Travel: Attendees should plan to fly into Philadelphia International Airport (PHL). The hotel is easily accessible from the airport by public transit (SEPTA) or Super Shuttle.

Accommodations: MSFC has reserved a room block with a rate of $160 per night plus applicable taxes.  Rooms can sleep up to 4 adults. For security purposes, the location of the hotel will not be released until you have registered and been approved as an attendee. If needed we can help pair you with a roommate to save on hotel costs. E-mail [email protected].

Conference Start/End Times: The conference will start on Saturday, December 2nd at 7:30 AM (breakfast at 7:30 AM). The conference will end on Sunday, December 4th at 2:00 PM.

Dress Code: There is no dress code, but most students will dress in casual or business casual attire.

Cancellation Policy: Cancellations must be received in writing on or before October 26, 2017 and are subject to a $25 processing fee. Please note that if you cancel your registration after October 26, 2017 we will NOT be able to refund your registration fees. No shows will NOT receive a refund of registration fees.