Washington, DC—Thomas Gellhaus, M.D., President of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), released the following statement regarding the signing of the 21st Century Cures Act into law:
“The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) applauds the U.S. Congress for passing and President Obama for signing the 21st Century Cures Act which includes key women’s health provisions.
The 21st Century Cures Act includes two longstanding priorities for ACOG that will pave the way for breakthroughs by increasing research on medications used by pregnant and breastfeeding women and ensuring women suffering from postpartum depression get needed care. The Cures package also provides $1 billion in funding for opioid use disorder prevention and treatment programs. ACOG applauds the inclusion of this needed federal investment to improve access to opioid use disorder treatment. It is imperative that women living with opioid use disorders, including those who are pregnant, receive the evidence-based care they need.
“While nearly four million women in the U.S. give birth each year, too often doctors and patients alike are uncertain about what medications are safe to use during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. ACOG commends the U.S. Congress for increasing coordination and harnessing existing federal efforts to vastly improve research and information sharing on medications in pregnancy and breastfeeding.
“It is also notable that the 21st Century Cures Act takes concrete steps to help women and families suffering from postpartum depression. Postpartum depression is one of the most common medical complications following pregnancy, with symptoms or indicators often first appearing during pregnancy. Cures expands state programs to better identify, treat, and support women and families at risk for or facing postpartum depression.
“ACOG extends a special thank you to Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chair Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Senator Patty Murray (D-WA); House Energy & Commerce Committee Chair Representative Fred Upton (R-MI) and Ranking Member Representative Frank Pallone (D-NJ); Senators Dean Heller (R-NV) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY); and Representatives Katherine Clark (D-MA), Ryan Costello (R-PA), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) and Kathy Castor (D-FL) for their especially hard work on these provisions and dedication to women’s health.
“ACOG also thanks President Obama for signing this critical piece of legislation into law.”
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