APA and Other Leading Physician Groups Oppose Texas Legislation That Interferes With Patient Reproductive Care

6 frontline physician groups expressed their concern about the Texas state law that bans abortions after 6 weeks of pregnancy.

Six of America’s leading physician groups are deeply concerned about the consequences of the Texas state law that took effect yesterday, September 2, 2021, which bans abortions, medical counseling, and support related to abortion after 6 weeks of pregnancy. The American Psychiatric Association along with the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Physicians, and the American Osteopathic Association released a joint statement expressing their worries about this law.

“Our organizations, which represent nearly 600,000 physicians and medical students, strongly oppose any laws and regulations that interfere in the confidential relationship between a patient and their physician. This new law will endanger health by not only criminalizing physicians who perform necessary medical care, but by allowing private citizens with no medical training or expertise to insert themselves on women’s reproductive health decisions,” the statement read. “Moreover, this law jeopardizes women’s access to lawful, comprehensive care.”1

The groups agreed that patients should be able to depend on their physicians, especially pertaining to critical decisions about their personal health.

“To that end, we fundamentally oppose any effort to criminalize or penalize physicians for providing necessary care for their patients,” the statement said further. “Physicians 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 punishment.”1

The groups concluded the statement by urging the US Supreme Court to swiftly strike down this law and any other similar legislation that would interfere with the patient-physician relationship.

In a quote exclusive to Psychiatric TimesTM, Jennifer Payne, MD, commented: “As a women’s mental health specialist, this law is, in my opinion, an assault not only on women’s reproductive rights and right to an educated and comprehensive medical decision making process with their physician, but is also an assault on women’s mental health. Being forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term is a risk factor for the development of perinatal depression and in turn is associated with adverse outcomes for the pregnancy, the mother, and the exposed child. Laws such as this one have long-reaching adverse consequences for generations and whole communities by adversely affecting mental health outcomes for women and mothers in particular.”

Do you have thoughts on the new Texas legislation? Share them with us at PTEditor@MMHGroup.com.

Reference

1. American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American College of Physicians, American Osteopathic Association, American Psychiatric Association. Frontline physicians oppose Texas legislation that interferes in or criminalizes reproductive patient care. News release. September 2, 2021. https://www.psychiatry.org/newsroom/news-releases/frontline-physicians-oppose-texas-legislation-that-interferes-in-or-criminalizes-reproductive-patient-care