Bria Peacock, MD, chose a career in medicine because the Black Georgia native saw the dire health needs in her community — including access to abortion care.
Her commitment to becoming a maternal healthcare provider was sparked early on when she witnessed the discrimination and judgment leveled against her older sister, who became a mother as a teen. When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022, Peacock was already in her residency program in California, and her thoughts turned back to women like her sister.
“I knew that the people — my people, my community back home — was going to be affected in a dramatic way, because they’re in the South and because they’re Black,” she said.
But even though Peacock attended the Medical College of Georgia, she’s doing her obstetrics and gynecology residency at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), where she has gotten comprehensive training in abortion care.
“I knew as a trainee that’s what I needed,” said Peacock, who plans to return to her home state after her residency.
Ever since the Supreme Court decision, California has worked to become a sanctuary for people from states where abortion is restricted. In doing so, it joins 14 other states, including Colorado, New Mexico, and Massachusetts. Now, it’s addressing the fraught issue of abortion training for medical residents, which most doctors believe is crucial to comprehensive ob-gyn training.
A law enacted in September makes it easier for out-of-state trainees to get up to 90 days of in-person training under the supervision of a California-licensed doctor. The law eliminated the requirement for a training license and also permitted training at programs such as Planned Parenthood that are affiliated with accredited medical schools.
“By allowing physician residents to come to California, where there are more opportunities for abortion training, and by allowing them to be reimbursed for this work, we’re sending a message that abortion care is healthcare and an essential part of physician training,” said Lisa Folberg, CEO of the California Academy of Family Physicians, which supported the bill….
“My program will not allow us to perform abortions in other states,” she said.