Washington, DC — The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Missouri Section of ACOG issued the following joint statement in response to renewed attempts to limit access to abortion in the state of Missouri:
"ACOG strongly opposes the latest efforts to restrict women’s access to health care in Missouri; to force physicians to practice outside the bounds of evidence-based medicine; and to create unnecessary obstacles for women trying to access constitutionally protected, medically appropriate care.
“Abortion is a safe, legal medical procedure. Policymakers should not place undue burdens on the clinicians who provide abortion care or the patients who need it.
“The escalating attacks on abortion in Missouri are harmful, and they do not address the real health care needs of the women of Missouri. In a state where the maternal mortality rate is well above the national average, Missouri should focus its attention and resources on improving women’s health care, including maternal care – not taking steps that are likely to worsen maternal health outcomes and even drive women to desperate measures to end their pregnancies.
“Patient safety is of principal importance to ACOG. It is unacceptable that lawmakers and bureaucrats are attempting to dictate how doctors practice medicine without regard to medical science and are treating them like criminals. While pelvic exams may be appropriate for patients with certain conditions, routine multiple pelvic exams for women seeking abortion care are unwarranted, invasive, and not supported by evidence. Shared decision-making in health care should be between a patient and her physician – not government bureaucrats.
“A right without access is no right at all. The women of Missouri – and across the United States – must have access to the full range of reproductive health care, of which abortion is a component. It is time for politicians to recognize the integrity of the medical profession, and to afford women the respect and autonomy that they deserve.”
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