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Indiana’s near-total abortion ban leads doctors out-of-state for training

Indiana’s near-total abortion ban is preventing doctors in the state from getting the training they need. Medical schools are bearing the responsibility of adapting to the new legislation.

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education states OB-GYN programs are required to provide abortion training, or access to abortion training, as a “part of the planned curriculum.”

Indiana University’s School of Medicine is now sending doctors out of state to complete this requirement for their program. Dr. Nicole Scott, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology and the residency training program director, said this adds a new layer of complexity to the program's logistics.

“They have to get a medical license from a different state,” Scott said. “We support their travel and lodging, but that is kind of an unexpected budgetary thing that we just weren't prepared for.”

READ MORE: Indiana’s near-total abortion ban is now in effect. Here’s what you need to know

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Scott said she also makes sure doctors understand the barriers they’re up against as providers and the significance of advocacy within the profession.

“The ones that do choose this specialty are incredible people,” Scott said. “And, you know, they're really hoping to move the needle and deliver equitable care.”

One-fourth of counties in Indiana are designated maternity care deserts. The state also has the third highest maternal mortality rate in the country.

However, the changing landscape of abortion access in Indiana isn’t making it easy for providers to remain in the state after their training is complete. Despite IU’s program remaining competitive, Scott said in previous years, 3 to 5 out of 10 residents would stay — last year only 1 in 10 stayed.

Abigail is our health reporter. Contact them at

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Abigail Ruhman