- The Washington Times - Friday, March 3, 2023

House Republicans decried the nation’s leading obstetrician-gynecologist association for canceling a presentation by pro-life doctors at a recent conference, calling the move “hypocritical and outrageous.”

The five lawmakers led by Rep. Chris Smith, New Jersey Republican, called on the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to “end its discrimination against pro-life doctors” after their planned conference exhibit was pulled at the last minute.

“The reported decision by ACOG — an organization purporting to represent all obstetrician–gynecologists — to exclude qualified health care professionals of maternal and child care from presenting at an annual conference because of their pro-life positions is hypocritical and outrageous,” said the Republicans in a Friday statement.

The American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists said it has booked a booth for the last 15 years at the 2023 CREOG & APGO annual meeting, but that its doctors were told last week after arriving in Maryland for the event that their exhibit was canceled.

The conference for medical educators is run by the Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics and the Council on Resident Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology, which falls under the ACOG umbrella.

Rep. Chip Roy of Texas, one of the five Republicans, tweeted Friday that his office “will not meet with ACOG unless and until they apologize to these doctors and commit to welcoming them at all future meetings.”

ACOG spokesperson Kate Connors responded Friday by saying that the organization “welcomes exhibitors that align with our commitment to the advancement of evidence-based, scientific information.”

“ACOG continues to remain steadfast in our advocacy on our evidence-based policy priorities focused on saving and improving the lives of patients across the country,” she said in an email.

“To this end, we work with lawmakers from across the board and are grateful to those who take their time to meet with their constituents among our membership who share their commitment to evidence-based solutions to improve the health of those for whom ACOG members provide care,” she said.

ACOG’s policy updated in May calls abortion an “essential component of comprehensive, evidence-based health care,” and “strongly opposes any effort that impedes access to abortion care and interferes in the relationship between a person and their healthcare professional.”

The policy does not include any recommended limits on abortion, but emphasizes that the organization seeks “to oppose and overturn efforts restricting access to abortion.”

The Republicans said that “ACOG makes no secret of its extreme abortion agenda.”

They said they would “press for immediate changes to this unacceptable behavior—whether that means taking ACOG to task in meetings or refusing meetings until they change course—and encourage other Members to do the same.”

In addition to Mr. Smith and Mr. Roy, the lawmakers on the statement are Reps. Virginia Foxx of North Carolina, Diana Harshbarger of Tennessee, and Andy Harris of Maryland, who is also a physician.

Dr. Christina Francis, a practicing OBGYN in Indiana who heads AAPLOG, said that women “deserve the best possible medical care and the best information about that care.”

“We’ll continue providing that even if ACOG continues to try to silence anyone who disagrees with its political agenda,” Dr. Francis said.

This story has been updated with a comment from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists received Friday, March 3, 2023.

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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