Creating an oasis in an abortion desert: Exploring Michigan doctors’ interest in providing medication abortion
Awarded 2017
Complex Family Planning Fellowship Research
Natalie Gladstein, MD
University of Michigan

Objective 1 – We will conduct a cross-sectional survey of community-based obstetrician-gynecologists and family physicians in Michigan about their knowledge and experiences with abortion services. We will sample these physicians in person at their annual meetings, through an online survey, and mail letters to their offices with incentives encouraging participation. The survey will also provide an opportunity for doctors to indicate if they are interested in providing medication abortion and/or willing to have further discussion about starting this service.
Objective 2 – We will conduct in-depth interviews with 16-20 physicians interested in learning more about medication abortion or who might consider incorporating it into their practice. We will recruit interview subjects through three routes: 1) We will follow-up with survey respondents who indicate willingness to have further conversations; 2) We will interview a known provider in northern Michigan who has already reached out to us for exactly this kind of discussion; 3) We will conduct snowball sampling using the known physician as a “seed” to reach out to other practitioners who might have interest in speaking to us. After identifying the specific barriers to provision in each physician’s practice, we will collaboratively derive a set of solutions to overcome them based on work from the Reproductive Health Access Project (RHAP). The RHAP previously developed a toolkit for family physicians starting to provide medication abortion.