Advocacy and Health Policy |
ACOG’s Delegation to the AMA: Historic Advances for Reproductive Health
Physicians from across the nation convene twice a year for the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates (HOD) to determine AMA policy on issues impacting health care access, delivery, and outcomes. ACOG's 14-member delegation, led by Drs. Nita Kulkarni (MI) and Diana Ramos (CA), has become a powerful and respected voice at the AMA, bringing a perspective of the ob-gyn specialty to shape AMA policies.
At the June meeting, ACOG's hard-working AMA delegation achieved major gains, including securing AMA support for important reproductive health resolutions that will empower AMA to vigorously pursue protective efforts, defend against new threats and restrictions, and partner with specialties, such as ACOG. ACOG-sponsored and -supported resolutions established AMA policy to:
- Create a task force within the AMA to evaluate, propose, and implement actionable steps to mitigate the effect of abortion restrictions and other government interference in the patient–physician relationship in seven key areas: health equity, practice management, training, privacy protections, patient triage and care coordination, AMA policy implementation, and anticipation and preparation for bans and restrictions across areas of care
- Declare reproductive health, including abortion and contraception, a human right and commit to vigorous advocacy to defend against abortion and contraception limitations and criminalization of patients and health care professionals
- Advocate for over-the-counter access to hormonal contraception and encourage the US Food and Drug Administration's swift review and approval of OTC status for oral contraceptives
- Support unimpeded access to mifepristone for reproductive health indications
- Oppose criminalization of patients who access abortion and those who support them, and condemn reporting requirements that force physicians to function as agents of law enforcement
- Strengthen accountability and oversight of deceptive practices at anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers
In addition to leading efforts establishing foundational policies related to protecting and expanding reproductive health care, ACOG supported resolutions including:
- Developing a comprehensive advocacy campaign that includes updating the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule annually to reflect inflation and working to remove the budget neutrality requirement that has caused the inability of CMS to increase physician reimbursement rates
- Addressing climate change as a public health crisis
- Recognizing the importance of cultural identity and accommodations for residents and medical students for cultural observations and holidays
- Directing the AMA to work with hospitals and certification boards to remove intrusive questions on credentialing and certification applications related to a physician's physician and mental health, including substance use treatment
- Encouraging data collection on pregnancy and other reproductive health outcomes of incarcerated people and promoting the right to breastfeeding and pumping for incarcerated lactating individuals
- Improving and standardizing pregnancy and lactation accommodations during licensure and board certification exams
Past wins for ACOG at the House of Delegates include securing AMA support for key ACOG priorities: establishing Maternal Mortality Review Committees, and support for extending Medicaid coverage for 12 months postpartum. AMA's adoption of these policies has positioned the organization to join ACOG's advocacy efforts in advancing them at the state and federal levels.
ACOG's size and strength in the AMA HOD is determined by the number of our members who are also members of the AMA. Want women's health and our specialty to have an even bigger impact in AMA policy? Join the AMA today, and designate your ob-gyn specialty.