As you and your colleagues answer the call of our profession on the front lines and your communities, ACOG is advocating in state governments to ensure their COVID-19 response is informed in real-time by the experience of communities at the epicenter of the pandemic. State officials have significant authority to modify existing laws and expedite new laws during a public health emergency, including through Governor executive orders and directives, on a wide range of issues impacting health care delivery. ACOG State Government Affairs is committed to ensuring states’ actions prioritize equity in women’s health care access and outcomes, and value equitably and fairly the care provided by obstetrician–gynecologists.
Many of the steps states are taking to address the crisis now are also overdue and smart policy prescriptions that warrant broad-scale and long-term implementation beyond this pandemic. That is why last week, ACOG President Dr. Eva Chalas and ACOG CEO Dr. Maureen Phipps penned an open letter to organizations representing state officials making these consequential decisions. Titled, COVID-19 Call to Action for Women’s Health, this letter outlines ACOG’s calls to action in five areas of focus: support our front-line physicians; protect access to safe, quality care; center at-risk and marginalized communities; invest in our health workforce and infrastructure; and learn from this crisis.
This letter marks the launch of a new advocacy campaign specific to COVID-19 response in the states. It reaffirms our commitment to smart policy action that will advance your practices and protect your patients, which we will be implementing, in partnership with Section and District advocacy leaders, in the weeks and months to come. As part of our roadmap, we will regularly release advocacy briefs that urge substantive and smart action on a range of priority policy issues.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated weaknesses in our health care infrastructure and exposed limitations in our nation’s health care policies. It also comes at a time in our nation’s history when women’s health is in crisis. ACOG is committed to continuing our rapid response to this crisis, as well as leveraging our immediate advocacy gains into long-term reforms that benefit you and your patients. Keep an eye out here, in other ACOG communications, and on our social media channels as we continue to roll out resources, information, and opportunities for you to plug in and make your voice heard at this critical time.