Abortion–both medication and aspiration abortion–
is one of the most common and safe procedures experienced by patients of reproductive age. Major complications are rare.
Despite the great need for abortion care, most patients face multiple obstacles when accessing abortion, including a scarcity of clinicians trained and empowered to provide the procedure.
Most patients seeking abortion do so in the first trimester, when abortion is safest and when early intervention by an NP, midwife, or PA is most advantageous.
Aspiration abortion is most commonly provided as a simple outpatient procedure; medication abortion is commonly completed by the patient in her home following evaluation, education, and guidance by a health care professional.
Currently, physicians provide most abortion care, although primary care clinicians including family medicine physicians and, in certain states, NPs, midwives, and PAs have been providing well-documented safe, effective abortion care since legalization.
Numerous studies of abortion care provided by NPs, CNMs, and PAs worldwide show that they are as safe as abortion care provided by physicians trained in abortion care. The California Healthcare Workforce Pilot Project definitively demonstrated that there were no significant differences in safety or health outcomes between early aspiration abortion care provided by the NP/CNM/PA group and those provided by MD/DOs.