Legislative activities update

Dr. Tony OgburnTony Ogburn, MD, District VIII legislative chair

It’s been a busy and exciting spring for District VIII with regard to legislative activities. Sixty Fellows, Junior Fellows, and medical students from our district attended the ACOG Congressional Leadership Conference, The President’s Conference (CLC), in Washington, DC, March 3–5. 

District VIII held a legislative meeting on Sunday morning prior to the start of the conference. Kathryn Moore, ACOG director of state legislative and regulatory affairs, reviewed a variety of topics with us, including legislative interference in the physician-patient relationship, dense breast screening legislation, and how the Affordable Care Act will affect individual states.

We also discussed maternal mortality review committees, state legislative days, pharmacist dispensation of oral contraceptives, scope of practice issues, and abortion access. The abortion access debate led to a proposal that abortion services be provided by advanced practice clinicians. Read more about advanced practice clinicians and abortion provision from Eve Espey, MD, MPH.

Thanks to the Fellows who facilitated outstanding discussions: Stella M. Dantas, MD, District VIII secretary; Dr. Espey; Mark F. Garnaas, MD; Steven C. Holt, MD, Colorado Section vice chair and legislative chair; Judith M. Kimelman, MD, Washington Section chair; Susan M. Lemagie, MD, District VIII chair; Maria Manriquez, MD, Arizona Section chair; and Sarah W. Prager, MD, District VIII young physician and Washington Section treasurer.

Action items that came out of the meeting included requests to the District VIII Advisory Council to consider writing letters to the appropriate national committees or representatives to:

  • Update the ACOG position on breast cancer screening
  • Support advanced practice clinicians in provision of first-trimester abortion services
  • Support pharmacist dispensation of oral contraceptives as an interim measure until the US Food and Drug Administration approves over-the-counter access

The CLC was a huge success with an outstanding program put together by ACOG Immediate Past President James T. Breeden, MD, past District VIII chair.

I encourage you to consider attending the CLC next year on March 2–4 and the District VIII legislative meeting on the morning of March 2. All District VIII Fellows and Junior Fellows are welcome! It’s an honor and a pleasure to be your District VIII legislative chair. Please don’t hesitate to contact me at jogburn@salud.unm.edu if I can be of assistance.