ACOG continues to advocate for additional federal legislation to address the ongoing physician practice, public health, and women’s health needs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. While the House acted last month to pass the HEROES Act, the Senate has yet to begin work on additional relief legislation.
To help inform that work, and encourage swift action, ACOG authored a letter to congressional leadership, sent on behalf of the Equitable Maternal Health Coalition, reiterating concerns around the disparate impacts of the pandemic on Black and American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities, and the potential exacerbation of the maternal mortality crisis. The letter urges expedient passage of COVID-19 response legislation that prioritizes the needs of pregnant and postpartum people of color. Specifically, we recommend that Congress:
- Support and expand surveillance efforts to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on maternal health outcomes, including disparate outcomes among communities of color;
- Ensure that pregnant and breastfeeding people and communities of color are included in research and data collection;
- Prioritize maternity care and ensure patients and health care professionals have the equipment and testing they need to stay safe;
- Invest in evidence-based public health programs that advance Black maternal health; and
- Support the Medicaid program as a critical safety net for low-income pregnant and postpartum people.
In addition, this week ACOG joined with physician society colleagues to advocate for medical liability protections for physicians treating patients during the public health emergency triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. As obstetrician-gynecologists and other physicians have continued to answer the call to care for patients despite personal risk, shortages of medical supplies and safety equipment, and making critical medical decisions based on changing directives and guidance, federal liability protections are imperative.
As Congress works toward additional COVID-19 response legislation, ACOG will continue to advocate for you, your practices, and your patients.
ACOG COVID Response Day of Action
This Wednesday, June 17, ACOG is holding a virtual Day of Action to ensure Congress makes obstetrician-gynecologists and their patients a priority as it continues to develop policies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ll be sharing more information next week - but we will be counting on you to join the advocacy efforts on social media and more!