Washington, DC—Thomas Gellhaus, MD, President of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), released the following statement regarding Congress going into recess before funding an essential Zika virus package:
“Congress has done a great disservice to American women, children and families today by failing to send a Zika funding bill to the President before leaving town for the remainder of the summer.
“The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), representing more than 57,000 physicians and partners in women’s health, is extremely disappointed with the partisan politics Congress is playing in the face of this very real public health crisis.
“As of July 7th there are nearly 650 pregnant women infected with the Zika virus in the US states and territories. Ob-gyns are on the front lines of this virus, caring for women whose pregnancies are at risk from Zika and its devastating birth defects.
“Congressional inaction means that crucial funds for Zika research, mosquito abatement, and prevention – including family planning – will either dry up, or will be pulled from other vital public health programs. The bottom line is that Americans are left vulnerable.
“Congress has missed an opportunity to show the American people that it is capable of rising above partisanship for the health of its citizens. Instead of helping to prevent the spread of the Zika virus and its incurable birth defects, Congress is going home. Leaving moms and babies at risk is WRONG.”
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College), a 501(c)(3) organization, is the nation’s leading group of physicians providing health care for women. As a private, voluntary, nonprofit membership organization of more than 57,000 members, The College 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. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a 501(c)(6) organization, is its companion organization. www.acog.org