The following is a statement from Iffath Abbasi Hoskins, MD, FACOG, president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) regarding ACOG's leadership at the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates meeting:
“At this week's meeting of the AMA House of Delegates, the physician delegates demonstrated through universal consensus the singular voice of medicine in support of access to the full range of reproductive health care, including abortion and contraception. ACOG is grateful to our colleagues from across specialties who have joined us in our commitment to protecting, defending, and advancing access to reproductive health care.
“The future of safe, legal abortion is under threat, and so is the patient–physician relationship. To protect relationship between patients and their physicians from further erosion, the AMA delegates unanimously voted to establish an AMA-led task force to preserve the patient–physician relationship in areas where evidence-based and appropriate care, such as abortion, is banned or restricted. The task force will evaluate, propose, and implement actionable steps to mitigate the effect of legislative interference, including abortion restrictions, on the patient–physician relationship in seven key areas: health equity, practice management, training, privacy protections, patient triage and care coordination, AMA policy implementation, and preparation for future action. The passage of this important resolution shows that the entire house of medicine shares ACOG's concern about how legislative interference is undermining the patient–physician relationship and eroding evidence-based medical care. ACOG is grateful to our colleagues among the AMA delegates who have joined us in making a commitment to ensure that the patient–physician relationship is restored, nurtured and protected.
“ACOG also cosponsored a complementary resolution brought by the delegation of medical trainees that, upon its passage, brings about a critical, necessary update to the AMA's foundational policies regarding abortion. By declaring abortion a human right, the newly adopted resolution will empower the AMA and its members across specialties to engage in vigorous advocacy for equitable reproductive health services, to oppose any effort to intrude on the ability of physicians to provide patients with the care they need, and to support legal protections for patients and physicians.
“The House of Delegates also adopted a resolution in support of over-the-counter access to hormonal contraception. ACOG has long supported access to over-the-counter birth control as a way to safely improve access to needed contraception. The full vote of the AMA's House of Delegates makes a clear statement that physicians are united in their strong support for improved access to safe, effective birth control without requiring physician or pharmacist prescribing, which may present a barrier for individuals—especially when time is of the essence.
“As reproductive health care remains under attack, this week's consensus by the AMA House of Delegates shows that physicians are of one voice in support for patient access to evidence-based reproductive health care.”