Abortion Knowledge Among Advanced Practice Clinicians in Colorado

Womens Health Issues. 2022 Sep-Oct;32(5):461-469. doi: 10.1016/j.whi.2022.04.006. Epub 2022 Jun 21.


Introduction: Our objective was to quantify abortion law and care knowledge among Colorado advanced practice clinicians.

Methods: We conducted a stratified random survey of advanced practice clinicians, oversampling women's health and rural clinicians. We assessed sample characteristics, positions on abortion legality, and knowledge of abortion law and care. Mean knowledge scores were compared by sample characteristics. Survey responses were compared by provision of pregnancy options counseling and positions on abortion legality. Linear regression models were used to examine knowledge scores.

Results: A total of 513 participants completed the survey; the response rate was 21%. Abortion law knowledge questions (mean score, 1.7/7.0) ranged from 12% (physician-only law) to 45% (parental consent law) correct. For five of seven questions, "I don't know" was the most frequently chosen response. Abortion care knowledge questions (mean score, 2.8/8.0) ranged from 19% (abortion prevalence) to 60% (no elevated risk of breast cancer) correct. For four of eight questions, "I don't know" was the most frequently chosen response. Practicing in all other areas (e.g., family practice) was associated with lower abortion law and care knowledge than practicing in women's health. Providing options counseling was positively associated with abortion knowledge (law, β = 0.44; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.10-0.78; care, β = 0.52; 95% CI, 0.08-0.95). Compared with participants who believe abortion should be legal in all circumstances, those who believe abortion should be illegal in all circumstances had similar abortion law knowledge (β = -0.03; 95% CI, -0.65 to 0.59), but lower abortion care knowledge (β = -1.85; 95% CI, -2.34 to -1.36).

Conclusions: Abortion knowledge is low among Colorado advanced practice clinicians and education is needed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced* / psychology
  • Abortion, Legal*
  • Colorado / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Surveys and Questionnaires