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.
Barring a surprise ruling, a geographic split looms: Some states will provide full access to abortion training for medical residents and students. Some will have limited access. And some will have virtually no access without long-distance travel. That, in turn, could influence where many doctors, especially those focused on obstetrics and gynecology, choose to live and work.
The leak of a draft court opinion in May showed that justices are poised to overturn the 1973 precedent Roe v. Wade, which would be a monumental victory for the antiabortion movement. If the court strikes down or narrows Roe, an array of medical institutions will face state scrutiny over how abortion is taught.
While abortion-rights advocates worry and wait, Campbell performs elective abortions for as many patients as he can at the Knoxville Center for Reproductive Health and trains as many medical students and residents as he can.
“We can pass as many laws as we want, for or against access,” Campbell said, “but at the end of the day, if you don’t have