Washington, D.C. — The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) strongly supports individual decisions to pursue or avoid pregnancy and sees the ob-gyn as an advocate for meaningful access to comprehensive reproductive health care. As part of that advocacy, ob-gyns act to improve health outcomes while protecting the right of individuals to control their own reproductive destiny. Today, in a new position statement titled Opposition to Coercive Contraception Practices and Policies, ACOG states that the method of contraception should be chosen by the individual, in a shared decision-making model with her clinician, regardless of her social, medical, or situational circumstance.
ACOG opposes coercive practices and policies that
- Inappropriately incentivize use of contraception
- Prioritize specific contraceptive methods such as long-acting or permanent methods at the expense of individual patient preferences
- Construct barriers to autonomous decisions to discontinue contraception
- According to the position statement, ACOG opposes “making contraception a condition of substance use disorder treatment or release from confinement” as any such effort “directly compromises individual agency and autonomy.” While such practices and policies can be intended as a response to specific perceived unhealthy or unlawful behaviors or driven by implicit or conscious biases, ACOG strongly opposes them regardless of intention.
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. www.acog.org