Letter to the Editor USA Today

May 17, 2012

The following is the unedited letter-to-the-editor published in the May 21 edition of USA Today:

Letters to the Editor
USA Today

To the Editor:

Drs. Angell and Greene (Where are the doctors? May 16) correctly point out the relentless assault on women’s reproductive health by state lawmakers across the country. We agree—women’s reproductive health is under siege.

ACOG is an advocate for women’s health and is committed to reversing this ominous trend. We work tirelessly at both the state and federal level to combat ill-conceived legislation intended to erode women’s reproductive rights. We maintain our position that decisions about an individual’s medical care are best made between the patient and his or her physician. Lawmakers should not be taking it upon themselves to define, mandate, or prohibit medical practices or to require doctors to read any, especially inaccurate, information off a government script to their patients.

Some in the US Congress and statehouses intend to expand their legislative jurisdiction to the exam room under the pretense of ‘protecting’ women. Women don’t need this kind of help. They need better access to the full range of reproductive services and accurate, evidence-based medical advice from their physicians, not ideologically-driven interference. Given that the US has the highest unintended pregnancy rate in the developed world, ACOG believes that access to family planning counseling and to the full array of FDA-approved contraceptives is a basic and essential component of preventive health care for women and is critical to achieving healthy families.

Politicians should not be legislating the practice of medicine or the doctor-patient relationship. We all need to speak up and take action when legislators pretend they know what’s best for women and their physicians. 


James T. Breeden, MD
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

Hal C. Lawrence III, MD
Executive Vice President
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

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 approximately 56,000 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.


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