[Leslie Carol Botha: The American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology, President, James T. Breeden wrote this ‘Letter to the Editor’ in the NY Times stating ob-gyns see firsthand the havoc punitive ideological laws have on the health of women and their families. Hopefully, the politicians do not turn a blind eye.]
The New York Times
June 4, 2012
Published: June 4, 2012
To the Editor:
Re “The Campaign Against Women” (editorial, May 20):
The onslaught of laws focusing on denying reproductive health care rights is a concerted campaign against women. These laws are not grounded in science or evidence-based medicine.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists believes that access to family-planning counseling and to the full array of contraceptives is a basic and essential component of preventive health care for women.
Efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, which provides cervical cancer and mammography screening, contraception and other preventive care to millions of women, are egregious and disproportionately hurt poor women.
As physicians for women’s health care, ob-gyns see firsthand the havoc that punitive ideology-based laws have on the health of women and their families. These ill-conceived laws are based on the pretext of protecting health, but they do anything but that.
Mandating that women be legally forced to undergo transvaginal ultrasound or any other medical procedure against their will and against their physician’s judgment is an outrageous violation of patient autonomy and the confidential doctor-patient relationship. Decreasing access to family planning and contraception will only increase unintended pregnancies and negatively affect family and societal health.
Politicians were not elected to, nor should they, legislate the practice of medicine or dictate the parameters of the doctor-patient relationship. Our message to politicians is unequivocal: Get out of our exam rooms.
JAMES T. BREEDEN
President, American Congress
of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Washington, May 22, 2012