Late Tuesday afternoon, the North Carolina Obstetrical and Gynecological Society issued a joint statement with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to oppose two bills recently introduced in the North Carolina legislature.
In early July, Senate leaders pushed a bill, House Bill 695, that rolled a number of abortion restriction provisions into a bill that would restrict the use of Sharia law in North Carolina family court hearings.
The following week, after Gov. Pat McCrory threatened a veto of the bill, House leaders proposed another bill, Senate Bill 353, that kept many of the provisions but transferred the responsibility of writing new clinic guidelines to the Department of Health and Human Services.
That bill passed in the House on a mostly party-line vote late last week.
In late June, the House and Senate each ratified House Bill 132, which would require teaching middle-schoolers that abortions, and other factors such as smoking, can add to the risk of subsequent miscarriages.
That bill was sent to McCrory for his signature on July 9, but he has not yet put pen to paper on it.
Until now, the state’s medical societies have not commented on any of these bills.
Below is the text of their joint statement.
July 16, 2013
Ob-Gyns Oppose North Carolina Senate Bills
ACOG Repeats Message to Politicians: Get Out of Our Exam Rooms
Washington, DC — Today, the North Carolina Section of The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the North Carolina Obstetrical and Gynecological Society (NCOGS) issued a joint statement in firm opposition to Senate Bill 132 (SB 132) and Senate Bill 353 (SB 353) that are under consideration by the North Carolina Senate.
“Both of these bills taken together have one purpose: To restrict the reproductive rights of women in North Carolina by interfering with the practice of medicine,” says ACOG Executive Vice President Hal C. Lawrence III, MD. “As we’ve seen in several other states, legislators in North Carolina are getting between women and their doctors. ACOG stands behind our ob-gyn colleagues in North Carolina as well as the women of North Carolina and urges politicians there to reject both of these measures.”
North Carolina Ob-Gyns Oppose State Senate Bills
That Decrease Patient Safety and Interfere with
Patient-Physician Abortion Decisions
The North Carolina Obstetrical and Gynecological Society (NCOGS) and the North Carolina Section of The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (NC ACOG), the two leading statewide professional associations of ob-gyn physicians in North Carolina, are committed to promoting patient safety and quality, accessible medical care for all women in our state. Accordingly, NCOGS and NC ACOG strongly oppose Senate Bill 132 (SB 132) and Senate Bill 353 (SB 353), either of which would interfere with the patient-physician relationship, restrict the reproductive rights of women, and substitute ideology for sound science and medical judgment.
Scientific evidence should be central to the legislature’s deliberations on any women’s health care policy, especially when the measures would severely restrict access to necessary women’s health care and related lawful medical services. Passage of these bills, which are not based on science, will have a detrimental effect on the health of women in North Carolina. We strongly urge lawmakers to reject these measures.
Unlike almost any other issue, abortion generates strong feelings on all sides. NCOGS and NC ACOG fully recognize and respect the personal beliefs of their members on this topic, as is reflected in ACOG’s policy statement on abortion. While we can agree to disagree about abortion on ideological grounds, we must collectively and unequivocally stand against legislation that interferes with the patient-physician relationship and harms the health of North Carolina women, like North Carolina SB 132 and SB 353. Medical decisions must be between a woman and her doctor, without legislative interference.
ACOG is the nation’s leading group of physicians dedicated to improving the health care for women, with approximately 57,000 members. The 1,062 board-certified ob-gyns in NC ACOG provide care for women in the state and manage over 120,000 births in North Carolina each year. Similarly, the NC Ob-Gyn Society is the statewide professional association of obstetrician-gynecologists in North Carolina devoted to the health care of women.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College), a 501(c)(3) organization, is the nation’s leading group of physicians providing health care for women. As a private, voluntary, nonprofit membership organization of approximately 57,000 members. The College 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. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a 501(c)(6) organization, is its companion organization. www.acog.org