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, …
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Abortion Training Programs
Q: What are the available Abortion Training Programs for medical students?
A: MSFC offers 2 abortion training options: the Clinical Abortion Observation and the Reproductive Health Externship. Both programs provide financial and logistical support for your efforts to obtain clinical exposure to abortion care. The Clinical Abortion Observation is a short program, lasting between 3 days and 2 weeks. The RHE is at minimum 2 weeks in duration and participants are required to have exposure to at least 50 abortion procedures.
Q: What is the required time commitment to participate in the Reproductive Health Externship Funding Program?
A: We require that students find a host facility that guarantees exposure to 50 abortion procedures. Depending on your chosen host facility, the average time commitment can range from two weeks to one month or more.
For opportunities lasting less than 2 weeks, please apply for the Clinical Abortion Observation.
Q: When is the best time to complete either the Reproductive Health Externship Funding Program or the Clinical Abortion Observation?
A: You may complete either program at any point during medical school. Many students who pursue abortion training during their clinical years coordinate with their schools to complete an externship as one of their elective rotations. Applications are accepted throughout the year and awards are granted on a rolling basis.
Q: If I’ve completed a Clinical Abortion Observation, may I apply for the RHE?
A: Absolutely. Clinical Abortion Observation participants are encouraged to apply for the RHE.
Q: Which expenses can I expect the Clinical Abortion Observation or Reproductive Health Externship Funding Program to cover?
A: You will be required to submit a budget form detailing anticipated expenses as part of your application. Covered expenses may include travel, housing, commuting, and host facility costs. Please note: MSFC will happily consider applications requesting funds to cover housing expenses incurred as a direct result of participation in the externship, but current housing costs do not qualify under the stipend.
Q: After being accepted into the Clinical Abortion Observation or Reproductive Health Externship Funding Program when I can expect to receive the awarded funding?
A: Funds are typically disbursed in two equal payments. The first payment is sent at the midpoint of your externship; the second is sent upon completion of all requirements.
Q: How do I find a host facility?
A: You may arrange an externship at any site that can provide exposure to abortion procedures. In order to assist medical students with this process, MSFC maintains a non-exhaustive database of host facilities excited to participate in this program and is able to provide contact information for these sites upon request. RHE participants must make arrangements at a host facility/facilities than will give them exposure to 50 abortion procedures. We encourage students to research host facilities to find the best match.
Please note, Planned Parenthood now requires that MSFC obtain a background check for externs who will train at their facilities. If you prefer not to be subject to a background check, please contact the Director of Training Programs for information about other potential training sites.
Q: Will I be able to participate in hands on training?
A: Each host facility is unique and makes its own decisions regarding hands on training for externs.
Q: How do I apply for an Abortion Training Program?
A: Both the Clinical Abortion Observation and the Reproductive Health Funding Program have identical application processes. Please clearly indicate on your form for which program you are applying. Applications can be found here.