ACOG Statement on Mississippi's "Personhood Amendment" Proposition 26
November 7, 2011
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) strongly believes that the autonomy of women to make personal health care decisions must be respected. As the nation's leading organization of women's health physicians, dedicated to all aspects of women's health, ACOG supports quality health care appropriate to every woman's needs throughout her life, including the full spectrum of clinical and reproductive services. Mississippi's "Personhood Amendment," Proposition 26, does not respect the autonomy of women and jeopardizes women's health. We urge the citizens of the State of Mississippi to reject this Proposition on November 8th. Proposition 26 substitutes ideology for science and represents a grave threat to women's health and reproductive rights that will have long-term negative outcomes for our patients and society.
Proposition 26 defines the term person to "include every human being from the moment of fertilization", which has wide-reaching implications that will impact access to women's health, including treatment for cancer, infertility treatment, birth control options, and pregnancy termination. This proposal unnecessarily exposes women to serious health risks and significantly undermines the relationship between physicians and our patients. The vague and overly broad terms in Proposition 26 will prevent physicians from providing the care vital to women's health.
Proposition 26 must be defeated in the best interest of women's health.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College), a 501(c)(3) organization, is the nation's leading group of physicians providing health care for women. As a private, voluntary, nonprofit membership organization of approximately 55,000 members, The College strongly advocates for quality health care for women, maintains the highest standards of clinical practice and continuing education of its members, promotes patient education, and increases awareness among its members and the public of the changing issues facing women's health care. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a 501(c)(6) organization, is its companion organization. www.acog.org
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