WISCONSIN — Not all doctors know how emergency contraception and intrauterine devices work. That includes one out of every six obstetrician-gynecologists, according to a recent study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Collaborative for Reproductive Equity.

Of the 874 doctors who responded to the survey, 95% said they treat women who are considered “reproductive-aged.” Less than 5% said they were OB-GYNs.

Six percent of respondents said they believed contraceptive implants cause abortion. Another 6% said they believed injections caused abortions; 6% also said they thought pills, patches and rings caused abortions.

However, 17% of physicians said they thought IUDs worked by causing an abortion. That number rose to 39% when asked if emergency contraceptives worked by causing abortion.

More doctors — 17% — said copper IUDs caused abortion; 10% of doctors said hormonal IUDs worked by causing abortion.

Between 15% to 18% of OB-GYNs incorrectly said IUDs and emergency contraception caused abortions.

OB-GYNs were the least likely specialty to hold misconceptions about contraception.

Male doctors were more likely than female doctors to hold misconceptions about contraception.

The study noted that those who identified as highly religious were more likely to believe IUDs caused abortion.

Physicians who had “educational exposure to abortions” were less likely to believe that emergency contraception caused abortion. Because those who received some kind of abortion training were less likely to believe misinformation, the study noted that “lack of correct information may be the driving cause of such misconceptions.”


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