Health—General & Rehabilitative

Medical Students for Choice

aka MSFC

Philadelphia, PA


Creating tomorrow's abortion providers and pro-choice physicians.

Ruling Year


Executive Director

Ms. Lois Backus

Main Address

PO Box 40935

Philadelphia, PA 19107 USA


reproductive health, medical education, health





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (E01)

Women's Rights (R24)

Graduate, Professional(Separate Entities) (B50)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2016.
Register now

Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve New!

One of the greatest barriers to abortion access today is a lack of abortion providers. As current abortion providers age and retire, there is a continual shortage of trained and willing physicians able to fill that gap. Plus, anti-choice laws and regulations have caused at least 162 clinics nationwide to close since 2011. Abortion is underrepresented in medical school curricula and training. Despite being a very safe and common procedure, a survey showed that two-thirds of medical schools spend less than thirty minutes on abortion. Half of all pregnancies in the US are unintended, but only a fifth of medical schools are training students on basic options counseling. MSFC engages medical students in conversations about reproductive healthcare that are not happening in the classroom, inspires students who are unsure or on-the-fence about provision, and provides critical training opportunities in a climate where accessing training without support is extremely difficult.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Student Organizing

Reproductive Health Externship

Conferences and Meetings

Outreach and Communications

Where we workNew!

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

MSFC envisions a world where all physicians are trained to provide and promote access to safe, compassionate abortion care, and all people are empowered to make their own reproductive health care decisions, free of stigma, judgment, and barriers. MSFC's ultimate intended outcome is to ensure that there is a next generation of physicians providing safe abortion care. We work to achieve this through the integration of abortion education as a standard element of medical school education and training in women's health, even in countries where abortion is highly restricted or illegal.

MSFC uses a community organizing model that allows us to be effective in environments that are resistant to outside intervention. MSFC nurtures and develops student leadership at the local level and allows medical school groups to choose strategies appropriate for each local community. MSFC achieves its goals through programs focused on a) educating medical students and residents within their campus or hospital environments, and b) educating medical students and residents by providing opportunities for education and training outside their campus or hospital environment. All MSFC programs are designed to ensure that any interested medical student has multiple opportunities to become educated on abortion and family planning from experts in the field.

MSFC's success is due to our innovative student-led structure and our broad grassroots network of over 10,000 medical students and residents. MSFC's student-led model allows us to be effective in an environment that is resistant to outside intervention. MSFC develops student leadership at the local level, sustains a strong vision of change over time, and allows medical school groups to choose strategies appropriate for each local community. MSFC has been able to galvanize local student bodies and use the collective voice of organized medical students to advocate for change through each school's established decision-making system.

MSFC has a sophisticated evaluation system that utilizes web-based survey software and a statistical database to collect and analyze data from the campus activist network and conference participants. Information gathered through these systems is used by MSFC staff to evaluate program effectiveness and success.

MSFC staff regularly measure program achievement of these objectives:

• Facilitate successful transitions of leadership at 90% of schools with active MSFC chapters
• Achieve overall chapter growth of 5% or more per year
• Achieve an increase of 10% or more per year in the number of chapter-sponsored education events
• Increase MSFC's inventory of educational resources
• Show positive change in intention to provide when compare pre- and post-meeting survey instruments
• Show at least 90% of survey respondents find an MSFC-sponsored conference or meeting useful/very useful
• Achieve representation from 60% or more of chapters at the Conference on Family Planning
• Support curriculum change on 1/3 of campuses with an active MSFC chapter within the US and Canada
• Increase the number of curriculum resources available to MSFC student leaders
• Increase the number of host facility sites to meet the demand of externs
• Increase the number of externs each year and show positive growth in the number of applications
• Expand capacity to provide abortion training to resident physicians unable to obtain adequate training within their programs

Access to facilities providing safe abortion has declined steadily in the US for the past 30 years and the number of physicians providing abortion care declined even more until the late 90's. On the global stage, inadequate post-abortion care continues to lead to maternal death as doctors are unskilled in treating women who present with complications due to incomplete self-abortions or unsafe abortions performed by untrained individuals. As MSFC's international presence grows, our campus education strategies have grown to address a more diverse array of medical environments.

At the medical school level, MSFC's ongoing focus on abortion has resulted in pressure within institutions to include abortion in their formal training programs as well as creating a growing community of strong, pro-choice medical students who continue to push for access to this training.

Although there has been a similar rise in the number of residency programs providing training in abortion in the US, job opportunities that include abortion care have dwindled for those MSFC'ers who have been trained. MSFC is working to support strategic grassroots efforts to influence new models of training during residency that will provide opportunities for trained physicians to provide abortion access to their patients.

- Medical Students for Choice has built a network of student activists and leaders on 215 medical school campuses across 32 countries.
- MSFC has active resident physicians training in over 200 residency programs and working to integrate abortion care into their clinical training.
- MSFC's Reproductive Health Externship program has trained over 1,000 students in abortion clinics. Externship experiences are now available in the US, Canada, the UK, Sweden, Uganda and Ghana.
- MSFC directly educates approximately 800 medical students and residents in abortion and family planning each year through our Conference on Family Planning and mini-conference programs.
- 31% of MSFC physician alumni are currently providing abortion care in their practices and 40% of these providers are providing later abortions (defined as 20 weeks or later).

External Reviews



Medical Students for Choice

Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

Need more info on this nonprofit?

Need more info on this nonprofit?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2016
A Pro report is also available for this organization for $125.
Click here to view a Sample Report.


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2016
A Pro report is also available for this organization for $125.
Click here to see what's included.

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?