On March 22, the American Academy of Family Physicians joined the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Physicians, and the American Psychiatric Association in issuing a statement in opposition to legislation that threatens access to reproductive health care. The statement, released in direct response to the legislation passed in Idaho, reads as follows:
“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.”