Pro-life medical professionals have set up a new website detailing the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ (ACOG) failure to uphold medical objectivity on the issue of abortion.
The American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) created the site NotMyACOG.com, which chronicles the history of ACOG’s once pro-life origins to its abortion activism today.
"In today's political and medical environment, it's more important than ever for obstetricians and gynecologists to know that the leadership of the organization that's meant to represent us on all topics related to our specialty holds a position on induced abortion that is more radical than its members',” said Susan Bane, MD, PhD, a board member with AAPLOG.
“Since we first published this website, ACOG has only gotten more militant in forcing its pro-abortion position onto OB-GYNs and silencing dissent from those of us who oppose the practice,” Bane said. “Just this year, they have disinvited AAPLOG from exhibiting at their medical education conference because of our pro-life views and have declined our invitation to an academic debate about the merits of induced abortion, claiming that its stance ‘is settled science.’”
“The fact that less than 1 in 6 OB-GYNs perform abortions in their practices testifies to the fact that many within our specialty disagree with this statement," she said.
Tweet This: ACOG has only gotten more militant in forcing its pro-abortion position onto OB-GYNs, silencing dissent from those who oppose the practice
When ACOG went from a pro-life organization in the 1950s to praising abortion on demand by the early 1970s, pro-life doctors organized within ACOG to form the special interest group that is AAPLOG today.
A detailed recounting of ACOG’s abortion activism is cataloged in AAPLOG’s amicus curiae brief for the 2019 U.S. Supreme Court case June Medical v. Gee. It begins:
“[ACOG] functions as a pro-abortion activist organization and as such does not represent the views of either its membership or the 85% of obstetricians and gynecologists in the United States who do not perform abortions.”
The brief describes ACOG’s pro-life origin when in the 1950s it adhered to the Hippocratic Oath. In following the ancient Oath, doctors vow to “not give to a woman an abortive remedy.”
ACOG’s 1959 manual of standards expresses the desire that abortions be brought to “an absolute minimum within the foreseeable future.” So-called “therapeutic abortions” were only permitted when the life of the mother was in serious jeopardy. AAPLOG observes that in the 1950s, this would have included ectopic pregnancies, rheumatic heart disease, or cardiac failure.
In 1968, ACOG relaxed the life of the mother exception to a more subjective criteria, allowing abortion if carrying would “seriously impair her health.” This change in the definition of “therapeutic” was a departure from the Hippocratic Oath.
The early 1970s saw ACOG’s attitude toward abortion rapidly shift further from sound medicine and parallel to a specific political cause.
The brief observes that this evolution was “based not on medical grounds but on the assertion of a woman’s right to choose.”
In 1970, ACOG declared that it’s policies would apply to “elective abortions.” In 1971, ACOG endorsed an amicus brief in Doe v. Bolton, which sought to facilitate abortions.
In 1972, ACOG published documents calling for abortions for minors without parental consent.
The AAPLOG brief summarized ACOG’s position in Roe v. Wade as being opposed to the statute because abortion restrictions “deprived patients of their right to medical treatment.”
With ACOG’s political transformation in place, it subsequently supported abortion in the public arena independent of medicinal expertise. As the AAPLOG brief states:
“Since 1973, ACOG has entered the fray in every major abortion case, always in favor of the most extreme position advancing elective abortion.”
AAPLOG’s brief includes fourteen legal cases detailing evidence of ACOG’s political bias and their abortion advocacy in the legal arena.
One incident amplifying ACOG’s political servitude occurred in 1996 during the Clinton administration.
Clinton refused to sign any bill that did not allow for a “health” exception to “intact D&X” (aka. partial-birth abortion). ACOG had initially drafted an opinion on the matter, stating it:
“could identify no circumstances under which this procedure…would be the only option to save the life or preserve the health of the woman.”
The draft was sent to the White House and returned with a request for ACOG to add the following sentence to its statement:
“An intact D&X, however, may be the best or most appropriate procedure in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman, and a doctor should be allowed to make this determination.”
ACOG yielded and added the political statement, even though it contradicted medicine and its original position.
Several years later, the Court in Stenberg v. Carhart directly quoted the Clinton administration edit in the revised ACOG statement.
As the AAPLOG brief observed, “ACOG had successfully passed off a political statement as a scientific one.”
In 2014, ACOG published a Committee Opinion in which it called “for advocacy to oppose and overturn restrictions, improve access, and mainstream abortion as an integral component of women’s health care.”
As AAPLOG noted, “This is not a statement of medical science, but of political advocacy.”
ACOG’s hostility to medical science has not been limited to legal briefs.
One example came to light in the 2015 film Hush, a documentary about abortion side effects produced by a “pro-choice” filmmaker.
The filmmaker asked several medical organizations for their position on “the abortion-breast cancer link.”
ACOG responded: “We cannot even dignify the topic with an interview because the case is closed…” However, its statement fails to account for multiple medical studies to the contrary.
As AAPLOG observed in its amicus brief for Dobbs v. Jackson: “Since 1957, at least 41 studies have shown a positive, statistically significant association between induced abortion and breast cancer.”
Another issue on which ACOG clearly opposes medical science is abortion pill reversal (APR).
Its website explicitly states that APR is “Not Supported by Science.”
However, this assertion is contradicted by the facts. Over 4,500 lives have been saved to date by the APR protocol.
“Instead of fulfilling their stated mission 'to improve the lives of all people seeking obstetric and gynecologic care, their families, and communities,' ACOG uses its political weight against pregnancy help centers and abortion pill reversal,” said Jor-El Godsey, president of Heartbeat International. “They do this by ignoring the actual science about progesterone's ability to reverse a chemical abortion and the actual truth about pregnancy help centers. Such actions serve only to improve abortion profits and contribute to the political abortion distortion.”
Heartbeat is the largest network of pregnancy help organizations in the U.S. and the world.
In 2020, ACOG further cemented its abortion activism, publishing guidelines for the chemical abortion pill in which it claims “a clinical examination or ultrasound examination is not necessary before medication abortion.”
The abortion pill is already designed to terminate a life. Forgoing an ultrasound also makes it more difficult to identify an ectopic pregnancy, in which the embryo implants outside the uterus. The condition can be life threatening to the mother.
Women forgoing an ultrasound may also incorrectly calculate their gestational age. This is significant because even the FDA approves the abortion pill only through 70 days gestation. And ACOG’s own studies admit abortion pill risks increase with gestational age.
These examples of medical misinformation advanced by ACOG place increased health risk on both mothers and the unborn. This underscores the importance of the NotMyACOG.com initiative.
As Dr. Bane put it, “The nation looks to ACOG for evidence-based expert opinion on reproductive healthcare; it's time that its stance on induced abortion properly reflect the opinions of the experts.”
Editor's note: Heartbeat International manages the Abortion Pill Rescue® Network (APRN) and Pregnancy Help News.