The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) President John C. Jennings, MD, today released the following statement regarding introduction of the Protect Women’s Health From Corporate Interference Act:
“Contraception plays an essential role in women’s preventive care, and contraception decisions should be made by a woman and her physician, based on her unique needs and preferences – not by anyone else. A woman’s boss has no role to play in her personal health care decisions.
“The value of family planning, including contraception, is clear. It allows women to time and space their pregnancies, leading to more optimal health outcomes for mother and for baby. And it helps to prevent unintended pregnancy; in America, nearly one half of all pregnancies are unintended.
“It is also essential that when an ob-gyn prescribes the appropriate contraceptive for each individual patient, he or she can trust that the patient will have access to that treatment option. Restrictions to this access are an unnecessary, inappropriate impediment in the patient/physician relationship.
“But in order for women to access contraceptive care, they need coverage. By ensuring contraceptive coverage for workers insured under their employer-provided plan, this bill would put birth control within reach for more American women, regardless of their financial situation. This will improve the health of more women and families, and it will improve our overall health care system, as well. The bill does not modify the exemption for houses of worship or the accommodation for religiously affiliated non-profits.
“We applaud Senators Murray and Udall and Representatives Slaughter, Nadler and DeGette for recognizing that contraceptives and other essential health care services should not be treated differently than other forms of health care. We look forward to working with them and other Congressional leaders to ensure that the ability of physicians to provide care for women is no longer subject to outside interference.”