Political Interference

Politicians are pursuing an unprecedented number of measures inappropriately interfering in the patient-physician relationship and legislating the practice of medicine. ACOG advocates for a patient’s right to be counseled and treated by her physician according to the best available medical evidence and the physician’s professional medical judgement.  Laws that require physicians to give, or withhold, specific information when counseling patients, or that mandate which tests, procedures, treatment alternatives  or medicines physicians can perform, prescribe, or administer compromise the patient-physician relationship.  Examples of political interference include laws that prescribe what must be communicated to patients about breast density and cancer risk, prohibit counseling on gun safety, interfere in physician maintenance of skills, and restrict access to reproductive health care.

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Breast Density

ACOG opposes laws  that  prescribe  what  must  be  communicated  to  patients  about  breast  density  and cancer risk, contrary to current evidence-based scientific data and medical consensus. There is no reliable (objective and quantitative) method for assessing breast density; no clinical guidelines recommend additional screening solely on the basis of high breast density; and breast density is not a major cancer risk factor. 

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Learn more about Breast Density

Gun Gag Laws

ACOG opposes laws that prohibit physicians from speaking to their patients about firearms and gun safety.

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Physician Maintenance of Skills

Doctors – not lawmakers – should set standards for lifelong learning. ACOG opposes state proposals to weaken physician Maintenance of Certification (MOC), which interfere with decades of successful self-regulation. ACOG urges lawmakers to recognize that each medical specialty has its own experience with its MOC program.  While some physicians may have sincere concerns with their own MOC programs, misguided one-size-fits-all legislation is not the solution.

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Reproductive Health and Access

ACOG opposes laws that restrict access to women’s reproductive health care, including contraception and abortion.  Patients must be able to trust that their care is based on their physicians’ best medical judgment, and physicians must be able to provide care that is based on their medical knowledge and the best interests of their patients. Restrictions on women’s access to abortion and contraception interfere with the practice of medicine and the relationship a patient has with her physician.

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Learn more about Reproductive Health