Washington, DC—Haywood L. Brown, M.D., president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), released the following statement in response to the United States Senate’s expected vote on S. 2311.
“The United States Senate should abandon S. 2311 and all legislation that limits women’s access to comprehensive health care, including abortion care. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) opposes every type of political interference in the practice of medicine, including legislation that bans abortion at an arbitrary cutoff point.
“This bill ignores scientific evidence regarding fetal inability to experience pain at that gestational age. In addition, the phrase “probable post-fertilization age” is not medically or clinically meaningful, as it is impossible to know the precise date of fertilization, except where fertilization is achieved through assisted reproductive technology. This language creates ambiguity that would leave abortion providers vulnerable to unwarranted punishment.
“S. 2311 targets and punishes abortion providers who terminate a pregnancy after 20 weeks with up to five years in prison. It is an unconstitutional attempt to intimidate health care providers and prevent them from providing the safe care their patients want and need.
“There are many reasons a woman may seek abortion care at 20 weeks, including fatal or serious medical conditions to the woman and/or her fetus that cannot be diagnosed at earlier stages of pregnancy. Determining if and when an abortion is necessary belongs in the exam room, between a woman, her physician and those she trusts – not on the Senate floor. “
“ACOG urges the Senate to reject S. 2311 and instead focus on protecting women’s access to safe, evidence-based and comprehensive care."
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is the nation’s leading group of physicians providing health care for women. As a private, voluntary, nonprofit membership organization of more than 58,000 members, ACOG 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. www.acog.org