CHICAGO – Responding to the growing threat of over-policing and surveillance of reproductive health services, the nation’s physicians and medical students at the AMA Annual Meeting adopted policy recognizing that it is a violation of human rights when government intrudes into medicine and impedes access to safe, evidence-based reproductive health services, including abortion and contraception.
In accordance with the new policy, the AMA will seek expanded legal protections for patients and physicians against government systems of control and punishment that criminalize reproductive health services.
“A growing number of current and pending laws insert government into the patient-physician relationship by dictating limits or bans on reproductive health services and criminally punish or penalize patients for their health decisions,” said AMA incoming president Jack Resneck, Jr., M.D. “The new policy also calls for AMA to seek legal protections for patients who cross state lines to receive reproductive health services, as well as legal protections for physicians and others who support or provide reproductive health services or referrals to patients who cross state lines.”
In alignment with the AMA’s longtime opposition to the criminalization of medical practice, the AMA will continue to challenge criminal or civil penalties on patients who receive reproductive health services, as well as physicians, other health professionals, health systems, and patient advocates for aiding, assisting, supporting, or providing reproductive health services or referrals to patients.
The new policy strengthens the AMA’s long-held position opposing political intrusions into the practice of medicine that infringe on the patient-physician relationship and compromise patient access to safe, evidence-based medical care.
In an amicus brief filed to U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, , the AMA along with dozens of leading medical organizations stated that abortion is safe medical care that is a decision to be made between the patient and the physician, subject to the physician's clinical judgment, and the patient's informed consent. An AMA viewpoint published last fall in advance of the Supreme Court oral arguments discusses AMA policy on abortion.
Robert J. Mills
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About the American Medical Association
The American Medical Association is the physicians’ powerful ally in patient care. As the only medical association that convenes 190+ state and specialty medical societies and other critical stakeholders, the AMA represents physicians with a unified voice to all key players in health care. The AMA leverages its strength by removing the obstacles that interfere with patient care, leading the charge to prevent chronic disease and confront public health crises and, driving the future of medicine to tackle the biggest challenges in health care.