A race to teach abortion procedures, before the bans begin

As he aborted 11 pregnancies at a clinic here one busy Friday this month, Aaron Campbell also was training a medical student in a procedure that soon could be outlawed in this state and many others. Case by case, he narrated the nuances of pelvic examination, pain-blocking injection, cervical dilation and, ultimately, the removal of embryonic or fetal tissue.

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Lindsey Gorman observed throughout and participated when appropriate, under Campbell’s guidance. With her hands she checked the size and tilt of the uterus. She also practiced ultrasound techniques and used speculums, swabs and local anesthetic to prepare patients. The student from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Pennsylvania was the seventh trainee to work with him in the past year, following medical residents from East Tennessee State University and the University of Tennessee’s teaching hospital in Knoxville.

Campbell and other abortion providers are racing to train the next wave of specialists in the field as the days tick toward a Supreme Court decision that could imperil the legal foundation of their practice and lead to upheaval across the country for education and training in reproductive health.

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