ACOG in the News: House Approves GOP Bill Outlawing Most Late-Term Abortions, New Guidelines on LARC Released by ACOG

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.


The News & Observer Contraception allows women to thrive

Authored by ACOG President Haywood L. Brown, MD

The ACA’s no-copay contraceptive coverage gives all women the opportunity to achieve and thrive, without their health threatened or their life course changed because of an unplanned pregnancy. Contraceptive coverage also makes economic sense for the country. The rate of unintended pregnancies can be five times higher for women living below the poverty level and, in 2010, unintended pregnancies cost the government approximately $21 billion. Trump Just Made It Easier for Employers to Refuse to Pay for Birth Control

“Contraception is a medical necessity for women during approximately 30 years of their lives,” said Dr. Haywood Brown, president of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. “It improves the health of women, children and families as well as communities overall; reduces maternal mortality; and enhances economic stability for women and their families. All Americans deserve the ability to make personal health care decisions without intrusion from their employers or the government.”

Associated Press 
House approves GOP bill outlawing most late-term abortions

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has said fetuses cannot experience pain before at least 24 weeks of development. In an interview, the group’s chief executive officer, Hal Lawrence, said “overwhelming” evidence shows fetuses younger than that have reflex activity but lack the neurological development to sense pain. “They can’t tell what it is,” Lawrence said. “If you can’t interpret it, it can’t hurt.”

The Huffington Post
 ACOG Wants To Make Vaginal Birth After C-Section Available To Way More Moms

“Despite a 23 percent increase in VBACs from 1985 to 1996, that number has since plummeted as the cesarean delivery rate has continued to trend upward,” Dr. Mark Turrentine, chair of ACOG’s committee on practice bulletins-obstetrics said in a press release. “This is the opposite of what we want to see happening, and it’s because there is still a great deal of misunderstanding regarding the safety of [trial of labor after cesarean delivery] and VBAC and a reticence to consider this a viable option due to medical liability concerns.”

HealthDay Ob-gyns warn against Vaginal Seeding Trend for Newborns

"Due to the lack of sufficient data, the very real risks [of vaginal seeding] outweigh the potential benefits," Dr. Christopher Zahn, ACOG's vice president of practice activities, said in a college news release. "By swabbing an infant's mouth, nose or skin with vaginal fluid after birth, the mother could potentially, and unknowingly, pass on disease-causing bacteria or viruses," he explained.

Medscape New Guidelines on LARC Released by ACOG

ACOG's Committee on Practice Bulletins‒Gynecology
and the Long-Acting Reversible Contraception Work Group, in collaboration with Eve Espey, MD, and Lisa Hofler, MD, published the practice bulletin online October 24 in Obstetrics & Gynecology. It replaces the practice bulletin published in July 2011.

"We have many more contraception options for women of all ages and life stages, especially in the realm of LARC," Dr Espey said in a news release. "Many women may not know they're a good fit for an [intrauterine device (IUD)] or implant, or that IUDs now come in varying sizes and hormone levels. Counseling will help women to align their contraceptive choice with other health care priorities, whether that's preventing pregnancy during adolescence or making a plan for contraceptive use following pregnancy."

The New York Times Undocumented 17-Year-Old Must Delay Abortion, Court Rules

The sooner the teenager can have the abortion, “the safer it will be for her,” said Dr. Hal C. Lawrence, the executive vice president of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, who practiced obstetrics for nearly three decades. As the uterus gets bigger, he added, the walls of the uterus get thinner, which increases the possibility of perforation and puts women at risk of additional blood loss during an abortion. Health risks aside, delaying an abortion can cause emotional trauma. “Women don’t just wake up one morning and decide they’re going to have an abortion,” Dr. Lawrence said. “And so to make her continue to struggle and be denied access to something which is legal — all that does is increase the psychological stress for her, and that’s not healthy.”

Buzzfeed A Doctor In Hawaii Is Suing The FDA To Let Women Get The Abortion Pill From Pharmacies

Hal Lawrence, the CEO of ACOG, told BuzzFeed News in a statement that they support the ACLU’s suit, and that many of their their doctors have faced similar hurdles while trying to treat their patients. “Many ACOG members who do not currently provide medication abortions would write prescriptions for their patients if the REMS did not make it difficult, or even impossible, for them to do so,” he said. “Because there is no medical rationale for the FDA’s restrictions on abortion medications, the REMS serves only to limit women’s access to this important health service. Accordingly, the FDA’s restrictions should be eliminated.”

Women's Health The 4 Things You Need To Know Before Planning A Water Birth 

While laboring in a tub seems to have its perks, ACOG doesn’t recommend the actual delivery take place under water in the tub. Part of this stems from the fact that research can’t confirm if baby or mom benefits from an underwater delivery, says Joseph Wax, M.D., chair of the ACOG Committee on Obstetric Practice.

The New York Times Epidurals Do Not Prolong Labor

The study, in Obstetrics & Gynecology, randomized 400 women in labor to receive either a standard epidural anesthetic or a saline solution in an identical container.


Reuters Hot tub birth tied to life-threatening infection for baby

Because rare but serious complications have been documented with water births, and because evidence of benefits that might outweigh these risks is lacking, women should avoid delivering babies in water, said Dr. Joseph Wax, chairman of ACOG’s committee on obstetrics practice and an author of the guidelines. “It is recommended that delivery occur on land and not in water,” Wax, a researcher at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, said by email.

KJRH-TV (NBC) A Former Olympian Shows What It's Like To Go Through A Miscarriage

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists — or ACOG — says 10 percent of clinically recognized pregnancies end in loss.


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