Our objective was to assess and compare the attitudes to abortion among medical students in their 1st year and students in their 4th/5th year who had completed their obstetrics and gynaecology teaching at the four different medical faculties in Norway (Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim, Tromsø) and to see if there are differences in the teaching about abortion.
The majority of the students (87,5 %) think abortion should be a possibility. More 4th/5th year students agree with this than 1st year students. The students in Trondheim stand out as more liberal.
27,3 % of the students state that they want to use their legal right to reserve themselves from performing an abortion as doctors. There is no significant difference neither between the universities nor between the study-years. If such a high percentage of doctors choose to use this right it could have an impact on norwegian womens possibility to get an abortion in the future.
In Oslo almost all the students in the 4th/5th year have seen an abortion, while half of the students in Bergen and hardly any students in Trondheim and Tromsø have seen this. The majority of the students want to see an abortion if they get the opportunity. All the universities offer teaching about different aspects of abortion. The quality of the ethical teaching and what it contains seems however to vary. 23,5 % have changed their attitudes during their studies. Half of them say it s because of the teaching and there is no difference between the universities.