Dr. McHugh’s journey into providing abortion care didn’t start until she was a medical student. She was interested in OB/GYN, the specialty she would eventually choose, and was shocked to learn that the faculty refused to educate students about abortion. After much lobbying, she and a few friends started a chapter of Medical Students for Choice at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. They succeeded in having one single event before being forcibly disbanded - the event drew so many protesters that the school didn’t believe it was appropriate to continue the group meetings.
It was clear that abortion care education was even more critical than ever since it wasn’t being taught. As an OB/GYN resident physician (a physician who has finished medical school and is in training in their specialty), she sought out opportunities to increase her education and experience, and developed an interest in healthcare advocacy. After graduating residency in 2015, Dr. McHugh began practicing as a full spectrum OB/GYN, including abortion care and comprehensive reproductive health care.
She is currently licensed in 3 states (Indiana, Ohio, and Maryland) and travels to provide abortion care in various locations in these states to provide compassionate, trauma-informed, patient-empowering abortion care. While the work is technically difficult and logistically challenging, it is the most meaningful and rewarding part of her professional life.