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ACP Comments on U.S. Reproductive Health Policy

Adding to organized medicine’s response to last summer’s Dobbs decision, the American College of Physicians reaffirms its “opposition to undue and unnecessary governmental interference in the patient–physician relationship that criminalizes the provision of health care made in the physician’s clinical judgment and based on clinical evidence and the standard of care.” JAMA published several commentaries on this topic in late 2022.

The organization writes: “The legal landscape around access to reproductive health care services was substantially altered after the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization. In the aftermath of the decision, some state governments have begun to impose stringent restrictions and complete bans on the provision of abortion, whereas others have sought to protect and expand access. Some have gone as far as imposing criminal and civil penalties on physicians and other clinicians who provide evidence-based, clinically indicated reproductive health care services and information that is guided by biomedical ethics and provided in the best interest of the patient’s health and well-being. In several states, lawmakers have attempted and successfully used new approaches to enforcing and achieving these prohibitions, including prohibitions on crossing state lines to obtain abortion care, prohibitions on the mailing of medication abortion, and the authorization of third-party civil lawsuits. In this policy brief, the [ACP] updates and expands on its previous public policy positions on abortion from its 2018 policy paper, ‘Women’s Health Policy in the United States,’ to reflect this new reality. The College also offers policymakers and payers recommendations to promote equitable access to reproductive health care services and safeguard maternal health.”

Source: Annals of Internal Medicine