Ever since the Supreme Court decision, California has worked to become a sanctuary for people from states where abortion is restricted. In doing so, it joins 14 other states, including Colorado, New Mexico, and Massachusetts. Now, it’s addressing the fraught issue of abortion training for medical residents, which most doctors believe is crucial to comprehensive OB-GYN training.

A law enacted in September makes it easier for out-of-state trainees to get up to 90 days of in-person training under the supervision of a California-licensed doctor. The law eliminated the requirement for a training license and also permitted training at programs such as Planned Parenthood that are affiliated with accredited medical schools.

“By allowing physician residents to come to California, where there are more opportunities for abortion training, and by allowing them to be reimbursed for this work, we’re sending a message that abortion care is health care and an essential part of physician training,” said Lisa Folberg, CEO of the California Academy of Family Physicians, which supported the bill.

The question of how to provide complete OB-GYN training promises to become more urgent as the effects of abortion bans on medical education becomes clear: 18 states restrict or ban abortion to the point of effectively stripping 20% of OB-GYN medical residents of the opportunity to get abortion training, according to the Ryan Residency Training Program in Abortion and Family Planning. That’s 1,354 residents this year out of 5,962 OB-GYN residents nationwide.

The restrictions in some cases aim to reach beyond state borders, spooking medical students and residents who fear hostility from anti-abortion groups and right-wing legislators.

One OB-GYN resident in a state with abortion restrictions, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals, said she’s keen on getting comprehensive abortion care training in California — but can’t.

“My program will not allow us to perform abortions in other states,” she said.

She said administrators worry that doing so would subject residents to litigation because the program is state-funded.

“That is how my program is interpreting the law,” she said. “They’re being very conservative in order to protect us.”

Read the full article about abortion training by Laurie Udesky at The19th.