Washington, DC — Today, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and leading medical groups filed amicus briefs in several cases across the country in support of states’ and organizations’ motions for preliminary injunction to stop the recently issued changes to Title X of the Public Health Service Act from going into effect. Title X, established in 1970, is the only federal program exclusively dedicated to providing low-income patients (including adolescents) with access to critical family planning and preventive health services and information. The briefs argue that the new rule will significantly restrict the health care available to millions of women under Title X.
“ACOG’s amicus briefs, filed today in California, Oregon, and Washington explain that the new Title X rule jeopardizes access to reproductive health care for low-income individuals and disproportionately affects vulnerable populations, such as people of color and individuals living in rural or underserved areas,” said Lisa Hollier, M.D., M.P.H., president of ACOG. “The briefs also explain that the rule severely undermines the patient–physician relationship and puts physicians in an ethically compromised situation by potentially forcing them to withhold their professional medical judgment.”
The rule contains provisions that are contrary to ACOG guidance and ACOG’s policy statement concerning Title X. In particular, the rule restricts information that physicians can provide to their patients, weakens safeguards that ensure that Title X-funded programs offer evidence-based contraception, and imposes medically unnecessary requirements on health care facilities that will exclude qualified providers from offering care to low-income women.
Last year, ACOG and other leading medical groups actively opposed the proposed rule and submitted official comments to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services calling for immediate and complete withdrawal of the proposed rules. The Department of Health and Human Services disregarded comments from ACOG and the broader medical community and issued the final rule, which is now being challenged in multiple courts. ACOG’s amicus briefs support these court challenges brought by 22 state attorneys general, Title X providers, and the American Medical Association.
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