ACOG in the News: Reactions to the Supreme Court Ruling on Texas' Abortion Law, Zika Leads More Women to Seek Abortion Help, and New Guidance to Prevent Vaginal Tearing During Delivery

ACOG serves as an expert information source about women’s health for consumers and the media. The organization’s Office of Communications regularly receives media inquiries from newspapers, magazines, websites, radio, and TV broadcast outlets. In many cases, ACOG officers and members talk with the media, working with the Office of Communications. Here are several recent articles that prominently featured ACOG guidance and experts. We’ve included excerpts and links to the original articles.

New York Times Reactions to the Supreme Court Ruling on Texas’ Abortion Law

“It was clear that the ambulatory surgical center and admitting privileges requirements at the heart of Texas law HB2 did not improve the safety of women, and served only as a barrier to women’s ability to access safe, legal abortion when needed.”

Dr. Thomas M. Gellhaus, president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

USA Today Zika leads more women to seek abortion help

The new study "provides alarming insight on how the Zika virus is affecting the lives of pregnant women," said Thomas Gellhaus, president of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, in a written statement.

“During the Zika crisis, health care providers must respect and support the reproductive rights of women and the decisions they make after appropriate counseling," Gellhaus said. "Women must have urgent access to the full spectrum of reproductive health services to avoid the potentially tragic consequences of Zika exposure.”

Nightly News Are Pelvic Exams Reliable for Women?

A government advisory panel said Tuesday that there is "inadequate evidence" that the annual exam helps detect cancers, infections or sexually transmitted diseases in healthy women.


Today It’s Unclear Whether Yearly Pelvic is Necessary, Task Force Says

The American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists’ guidelines advise against annual Papanicolaou tests— Pap smears — which are used to diagnose cervical cancer. But the gynecologists' group does recommend annual pelvic exams to screen for other health issues, including ovarian cancer.

Even if the exam isn't always useful to screen for ovarian cancer, it can tell a doctor about a number of other conditions, Dr. Hope Ricciotti, the chair of obstetrics and gynecology at Beth Israel Deaconess argued in the 2015 journal article on pelvic exams.


Rewire Looking Beyond ‘Whole Woman’s Health’: Challenges Remain in Dozens of States

Even if we are able to celebrate a favorable outcome in the case Monday, the battle for reproductive health will continue in dozens of states across the country.

-Commentary by Thomas M. Gellhaus, MD


Politico Scope of practice: How can we expand access to care?

Scope of practice — who can practice what kind of medicine, in what settings and under what type of physician supervision, if any — is an issue that has preoccupied state legislatures and the courts for years. The disputes involve physicians, nurse practitioners, chiropractors, pharmacists, dental hygienists, respiratory therapists, podiatrists, pharmacists, midwives — and just about everyone else in medicine. It has taken on renewed importance in the past few years given the coverage expansion of the Affordable Care Act, the shortage of primary care physicians and mental health practitioners in sections of the country, the needs of an aging population, and the pressures to find ways of providing care less expensively without harming quality.

Participants in the Working Group:

Dr. Christopher M. Zahn, Col (Ret), USAF, MC, Vice President, Practice Activities American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)


Reuters In Zika-struck Puerto Rico, trouble delivering donated contraceptives

"It is hard, close to impossible to ask doctors to take anything else from their pockets," said Dr. Nabal Jose Bracero, who chairs the Puerto Rico section of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. "Things are very, very rough."


MedPage Today ACOG: New Guidance to Prevent Vaginal Tearing During Delivery

To prevent perineal lacerations, ob/gyns can use a variety of techniques, such as perineal compresses, on a patient during labor and should restrict the use of episiotomy, according to a practice bulletin from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Both of these recommendations have been classified as Level A (based on good and consistent scientific evidence).

"A number of different perineal management interventions have been used ... at the time of delivery in an effort to reduce perineal trauma, including ... manual perineal support, warm compresses, different birthing positions, and delayed pushing," reported ACOG's Committee on Practice Bulletins -- Obstetrics.


Medscape Most Fertility Apps Miscalculate the Fertile Window

"Although for this study we assumed a 'perfect cycle,' it can be implied that with the inherent variation in actual cycles, the predicted fertile windows may be even more inaccurate," Robert Setton, MD, from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, and colleagues write in an article published online June 6 and in the July issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

"The research by Dr. Setton demonstrates that web-based and app-based resources intended to help couples identify the fertile window are, generally, inaccurate," Hal C. Lawrence, MD, chief executive officer of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said in a media statement. "Although Dr. Setton did not study the clinical implications of this, it's important for women to know that reliance on these digital platforms may not be effective for them."


Reuters Most women with pregnancy-related diabetes don’t get timely screening later

Three-quarters of women who develop diabetes during pregnancy are not screened for diabetes again within one year after giving birth, according to a new study.

This is “dismaying, but not surprising,” said lead author Dr. Emma Morton-Eggleston of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute in Boston.

Women who visited an endocrinologist or a nutritionist-diabetes educator after giving birth were more likely than others to be screened for diabetes, as reported in Obstetrics & Gynecology.


Healio AAFP, ACP, AAP, AMA, others renew call for Congress to lift ban on gun research

In the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, in which 49 people were killed and 53 wounded early Sunday after a gunman opened fire in an Orlando gay nightclub, many medical professional organizations have issued multiple statements not only expressing condolences for victims and their families, but also calling on Congress to lift its 20-year ban on the CDC conducting research into gun violence.

In a joint statement, leaders from the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American College of Physicians (ACP), the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American Psychiatric Association (APA) said Sunday’s attacks “highlight gun violence as a grim and increasing public health epidemic that kills approximately 91 Americans every day.”

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
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