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Physicians Oppose Legislation that Threatens Access to Reproductive Health Care

  • March 22, 2022

Washington, D.C. March 22, 2022 – As America’s leading physician groups, representing over 400,000 physicians and medical students, we strongly oppose any laws and regulations that interfere with the confidential, trusting relationship between a patient and their physician. We are firmly against any policies that unnecessarily regulate the evidence-based practice of medicine, threaten the patient-physician relationship, and inhibit the delivery of safe, timely, and comprehensive care. This includes reproductive health services and information.

Legislation passed in Idaho earlier this week bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy – before most people even know they are pregnant – and allows family members, including those unrelated to the pregnant person, to sue physicians and other health care professionals who provide abortion services. This legislation, and others like it being considered across the United States, will endanger patients and clinicians by allowing private citizens to interfere in reproductive health decision-making.

Physicians must be able to practice medicine that is informed by their years of medical education, training, experience, and the available evidence, freely and without threat of punishment, harassment, or retribution. Our patients, not policymakers, need to be in charge of their own medical decisions.

American Psychiatric Association

The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest medical association in the country. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 37,000 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental illnesses. APA's vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information please visit www.psychiatry.org.

About the American Academy of Family Physicians

Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 133,500 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the largest medical society devoted solely to primary care. Family physicians conduct approximately one in five office visits -- that’s 192 million visits annually or 48 percent more than the next most visited medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care. To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.familydoctor.org.

About the American Academy of Pediatrics

The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds.

About the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

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 62,000 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.

About the American College of Physicians

The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 161,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

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