Advocacy and Health Policy |

ACOG Opposes Any Effort to Ban Scientifically and Medically Accurate Terminology

Washington, DC—Haywood L. Brown, M.D., president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), released the following statement in response to reports that the Trump administration is instructing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to eliminate certain words or phrases from official budget documents:


“For decades, Americans have relied on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for valuable, sound, nonpolitical work to advance the health of our nation. As the nation’s largest professional organization for women’s health care physicians, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), warns that political interference has no place in the CDC’s work.

“ACOG urges the Trump administration, in the strongest possible terms, to drop its reported policy banning the CDC from using certain words, including “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based," in its budget documents. We also object to reports that the CDC has been instructed to replace “evidence-based” and “science-based” with the phrase: “CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes.” Public health policy must always be based on scientific evidence, not community wishes.

"As women's health care providers devoted to maternal and fetal health, our members rely on these words to ensure precision, reasoning and credibility in the provision of care. These reported word restrictions only serve to imperil the CDC’s valued position as a trusted partner in addressing the serious issues facing America’s public health.

“ACOG commends CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D. for her leadership in upholding the scientific foundation of the CDC’s important work.

“ACOG remains steadfast in our commitment to developing clinical guidance and resources for women’s health care providers, based on the best evidence available. We urge the administration to ensure all public health policy is firmly rooted in science, and to keep political interference out of our Nation’s health.”

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) 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, ACOG 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.