The University of California, San Francisco is all set to launch the first-of-its-kind, free online abortion course titled 'Abortion: Quality Care and Public Health Implications' on Monday.
The course is set to cover topics including the, "clinical aspects of medication abortion, aspiration abortion, post-abortion contraception, and pain management for abortion... and abortion stigma," amongst other topics outlined on a course description published on the university website.
Dr. Jody Steinauer, the associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the University of California said:
"I think that if we can inspire even a small portion of the people who take the course to take steps in their communities to increase access to safe abortion and decrease stigma about abortion, then we have been totally successful."
Despite the course being offered to anyone, the course description says it is specifically designed for, "any clinician, physician, health care worker or student who will care for women of reproductive age."
An estimated 3,000 people have registered for the class so far.
"Each week's lectures will incorporate the stories of women who seek abortion in order to better portray abortion significance and rationale. Other topics will include a brief history of abortion, the basics of abortion counseling, the professional obligations of health care practitioners to ensure that women have access to safe abortion care, and the maze of restrictions that make safe abortion care inaccessible to many women," read the course outline.
The course is being provided in partnership with Coursera, an educational technology company that partners with universities to offer online courses.
While the course is being hailed by some as revolutionary, in light of the lack of US medical school curricula covering more than a single lecture focused on abortion, pro-life critics are in condemnation.
Donna Harrison, executive director of the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, told WORLD magazine, "obstetricians and gynecologists refuse to do abortions because they choose to adhere to the Hippocratic Oath, not because their education didn't cover abortions."
Randall O'Bannon, director of education and research at the National Right To Life said the reason why most medical schools don't cover abortion extensively is because they, "recognize that abortion is the killing of human beings."
"Chemical methods, some involving drugs available by mail ordered over the internet, others using drugs developed as anti-ulcer medications ... can be used (quite dangerously) by the women themselves or by lightly trained medical personnel," added O'Bannon.