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ACOG Statement Regarding Abortion Procedure Bans

October 9, 2015

Washington, DC – The following is a statement from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG):

“The predominant approach to abortion after 13 weeks, commonly referred to as ‘dilation and evacuation,’ is evidence-based and medically preferred because it results in the fewest complications for women compared to alternative procedures.

“Efforts to ban specific types of procedures will limit the ability of physicians to provide women with the medically appropriate care they need, and will likely result in worsened outcomes and increased complications. These legislative efforts are based on nonmedical, subjective language. This language will create confusion, thus putting women at risk and, in certain cases, actually leading to abortion later in pregnancy.

“Quite simply, these restrictions represent legislative interference at its worst: doctors will be forced, by ill-advised, unscientifically motivated policy, to provide lesser care to patients. This is unacceptable.

“Medical decisions about reproductive health – especially given the complex circumstances that often accompany second trimester abortions – should be made by each individual woman in consultation with those she trusts most, including her ob-gyn – not politicians.

“Ob-gyns regularly see firsthand the reasons why women may need abortion care, as well as the pain that many of these women are in when confronting these decisions. Banning specific abortion procedures would leave physicians unable to provide women with medically appropriate care; this includes women who have made the difficult decision to end pregnancies for reasons including fetal anomalies or other unexpected obstetric outcomes. This is simply cruel.

“Medical care must be guided by sound science and by each patient’s individual needs – not by legislative restrictions. We continue to oppose laws that limit the ability of American women to get the reproductive health services that they need and that take medical decisions out of the hands of physicians and their patients.”

To read ACOG’s Committee Opinion on Access to Abortion, please click here.

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

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American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
409 12th Street SW, Washington, DC  20024-2188 | Mailing Address: PO Box 70620, Washington, DC 20024-9998