The Missouri Section of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists strongly opposes HB 126, a medically unjustified and dangerous bill. It represents unnecessary political interference in the patient-provider relationship, granting politicians final decision-making power over individual health care decisions specific to pregnancy with no acknowledgement of its complicated and unpredictable nature.
As providers of obstetric care, we all too often see the real risks of pregnancy – risks that only increase as pregnancy progresses, and risks that can lead to serious morbidity and even mortality. Missouri currently stands at 41 out of 50 states, making us one of the states with the highest rates maternal mortality and morbidity. This legislation will only serve to increase the numbers in Missouri and put our patients at a greater risk.
The decision about whether or not to continue a pregnancy is deeply personal and private. We believe our patients to be thoughtful and capable of considering their own personal circumstances, together with the counsel of trusted health care providers and loved ones. Politics must remain firmly outside of these decisions.
Ob-gyns and other women’s health care providers should not be threatened with criminal penalties for delivering evidence-based, necessary health care. HB 126 would force clinicians to decide between their patient’s needs and facing criminal proceedings. All clinicians 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 criminal punishment.
As women’s health care physicians dedicated to meeting the reproductive health care needs of Missourians, we urge the governor to veto this legislation. Health care policy must be evidence-based, medically accurate, and grounded in sincere intention to promote the best health outcomes.
Founded in 1951, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College) is the specialty's premier professional membership organization dedicated to the improvement of women's health.