ACOG Opposes U.S. House of Representatives Abortion Ban

October 3, 2017

Washington, DC –The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) released the following statement regarding the U.S. House of Representatives’, H.R. 36:

“ACOG strongly opposes political efforts to limit a woman’s ability to get the care she needs, specifically, attempts to ban abortions through medically unnecessary cutoff points. As the nation’s leading group of physicians providing health care for women, ACOG is dedicated to evidence-based treatment and compassionate care.

“H.R.36, the proposed legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives, would punish abortion providers with up to five years in prison for terminating a pregnancy 20 weeks after fertilization. This is unconstitutional and a gross interference in the delivery of care.

This ban would force physicians to deny services to women who need to end pregnancies for reasons including lethal fetal medical conditions that are diagnosed later in pregnancy, or when a woman suffers a serious health condition that is exacerbated by pregnancy. Because many of these problems emerge or worsen as pregnancy progresses, this cruel ban would leave many women without appropriate treatment options. Many women seek abortion later in pregnancy because restrictive state laws or the lack of abortion providers made it impossible for them to access abortion earlier in their pregnancies. Additionally, many women are delayed in their ability to access abortion care because they need time to raise or save enough money to pay for it.

The clear consensus by leading medical groups is that a ban on abortion after 20 weeks would interfere with the physician-patient relationship at a time when women are in need of empathetic, respectful and evidence-based care. These medical decisions should be made solely by each individual woman in consultation with those she trusts the most, including her obstetrician-gynecologist – not politicians.

 Currently, 17 U.S. states ban abortion after 20 weeks, despite the fact that the Supreme Court of the Unites States has consistently held that prohibiting abortion before viability violates a woman’s constitutional rights.

 “ACOG urges the U.S. House of Representatives to set aside this harmful legislation that limits access to safe, evidence-based care and instead, focus on efforts to improve access to comprehensive care for women.

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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