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President's Perspective

AUGS Joins ACOG to Oppose Texas Legislation That Threatens Access to Reproductive Patient Care

 
Holly-E-Richter

Last week the AUGS Board approved joining a group of leading organizations including the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Physicians, the American Osteopathic Association, and the American Psychiatric Association to express our concern regarding both the short- and long-term, over-reaching issues and implications associated with the Texas state law banning abortions, medical counseling, and support related to abortion after six weeks of pregnancy.

We note particular concern and strongly oppose any laws and regulations that interfere in the confidential relationship which exists between a patient and their physician. This new law endangers this relationship by giving private citizens the unprecedented ability to interfere in women’s reproductive health decision-making. Further, this law virtually eliminates women’s access to evidence-based, comprehensive care and information, and denies women their right to make decisions about their own health.

ACOG noted that these collective organization members are firmly against any policies that limit the evidence-based practice of medicine, threaten the patient-physician relationship, and inhibit the delivery of safe, timely, and necessary comprehensive care, including reproductive health services and information. As we all know, the special bond that develops between patients and their providers is part of the process which facilitates patient education through evidence-based discussions associated with treatment approaches, allowing the patient in partnership with her provider to consider treatment approaches that may best fulfill her needs.

Further, ACOG emphasized that patients and their physicians should be the ones to make medical decisions together about what care is best for them. Along with our partner organizations, we look forward to robust decisions by the courts to repeal this law and any similar legislation.

If you have any further thoughts regarding this issue or any other concerns regarding our role in this discussion, please share them with the Board by emailing board@augs.org. The AUGS Board will be discussing this issue further at our upcoming Board meeting in October. Having the perspective and insights of the membership as we enter this discussion is very valuable.

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