ACOG Applauds Introduction of the Improving Access to Maternity Care Act
March 3, 2015
Washington, DC – The following is a statement from John C. Jennings, MD, President of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG):
“Access to quality maternal care is essential for healthy mothers and healthy babies in America. Unfortunately, in underserved parts of our country, expecting women face shortages of qualified maternity care providers, including obstetrician-gynecologists.
“This can compromise prenatal and perinatal care that pregnant women receive, leading to poor outcomes for both mother and baby. It can force pregnant women to travel long distances – in some cases, many hours – to access prenatal care, potentially limiting their ability to see a provider as regularly as they should. And when a woman is in the midst of labor, distance can be more than burdensome – it can be dangerous.
“The Improving Access to Maternity Care Act, introduced today by Representative Michael Burgess, MD, FACOG, (R-TX-26), Representative Lois Capps (D-CA-24), Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), will help respond to the needs of underserved American women by designating maternity care shortage areas under the Public Health Service Act. This, in turn, will help open the doors for National Health Service Corps (NHSC) providers to serve in medical facilities in shortage areas, bringing essential care to pregnant women and making it possible for them to get the quality maternity care that they need, regardless of where they live.
“These designations already exist for primary care, dental health, and mental health. Adding a maternal health designation is a common-sense approach to improving public health in America. On behalf of healthcare professionals who are dedicated to quality care for women, we applaud Representatives Burgess and Capps and Senators Kirk and Baldwin for introducing this important bipartisan bill. We look forward to working with Congress to pass this bill in order to bring more equality to maternal care in America.”
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 more than 58,000 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