• It is valuable to identify and understand the life experiences that have affected your opinions in order to promote a non-judgmental climate for patient care.
  • Patient-centered counseling uses a non-directive approach with active listening, open-ended questions, and accurate information about pregnancy options.


  • Abortion is safe, and removing legal restrictions is associated with significant reductions in maternal morbidity and mortality globally. In fact, the only factors decreasing abortion safety are those decreasing access (NASEM 2018, Upadhyay 2015, White 2015).
  • Nearly half of all abortions worldwide are unsafe, and nearly all unsafe abortions (98%) occur in developing countries (Singh 2018, Sedgh 2016).
  • Patients who receive an abortion are not at risk for mental health problems, and are at no higher risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than patients denied an abortion (Horath 2017, Biggs 2016).
  • People have been trying to end unwanted pregnancies on their own throughout history. The advent of abortion pills has changed the framework and self-managed medication abortion is proven to be safe and effective (Conti 2019).


  • Abortion is common. One in four U.S. pregnancy capable people will have an abortion. One in 4 pregnancies end in abortion globally (Jones 2017).
  • Given how common unintended pregnancy, abortion, and early pregnancy loss are, most primary health care providers will treat patients experiencing these issues.
  • Restrictive laws seek to discourage abortion, however individuals seek abortion even in settings where it is restricted (Bearak 2020).
  • Reproductive health access and training are limited by hospital mergers, religious restrictions at training sites, stigma, and lack of transparency for patients and trainees (Thorne 2019, Uttley 2013).
  • First trimester abortion is provided by physicians and advanced practice clinicians, with similar safety, effectiveness, and patient acceptability in locations where abortion care is not restricted to physicians (NASEM 2018, Sjöström 2017).
  • If you do not provide abortion services directly, it is important to know how to refer patients and handle follow-up issues within the context of your practice setting.


TEACH Abortion Training Curriculum Copyright © 2022 by UCSF Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health. All Rights Reserved.