Lawmakers Push Back After OB-GYN Group Bans Pro-Life Doctors from 'Building Bridges' Event
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Five Republican lawmakers are calling on fellow House members not to have any meetings with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) after the group prohibited pro-life doctors from setting up a booth at their annual conference.
The pro-life doctors had set up an exhibit booth at ACOG's annual conference for the past 15 years. This time around they did not find out that their booth had been canceled until they showed up at the conference.
In a statement released Friday, U.S. Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Chip Roy (R-TX), Diana Harshbarger (R-TN), and Dr. Andy Harris (R-MD) shared their dismay at reports the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) had been banned from ACOG's medical education conference in National Harbor, Maryland.
The lawmakers called the OB-GYN group's move "outrageous."
"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," the House members said.
The Republican lawmakers also called on their fellow House members not to schedule any meetings with ACOG until the group changes its behavior toward pro-life doctors.
"As Members of Congress, we call on ACOG to end its discrimination against pro-life doctors, and we will 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," the five lawmakers said.
The annual 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, according to The Washington Times.
Dr. Christina Francis, incoming CEO of AAPLOG took to social media on Feb. 27 to express her frustration with ACOG and ironically noted this year's theme for the conference was "Building Bridges."
"This is a conference for physicians who are educating the next generation of OB-GYNs. We have exhibited at this conference for the last 15 years and I was planning on being inside this hotel today at our exhibit booth which we booked last year," Francis said in a short video posted to Twitter. "However, just a few days ago, after already having traveled to this area, we were informed that our exhibit booth had been canceled by ACOG."
"Despite multiple requests for an explanation as to why, the only explanation we've received is a vague explanation is that we disagree with ACOG, presumably on the issue of abortion," she continued. "This is very interesting considering the theme of this year's conference which is 'Building Bridges'."
"However, ACOG is showing yet again, they have no desire to build bridges with those of us who disagree even a little bit with them on their position on abortion," the AAPLOG CEO said. "This is especially dangerous for medical students and residents as it normalizes intentional feticide as a part of women's healthcare which we know that it is not. It also suppresses scholarly debate. Scientific advancement is made through the free exchange of ideas and through critically looking through both sides of an issue, and deciding which the evidence better supports."
Francis explained that "ACOG is obviously afraid for its students, residents, and medical educators to be exposed to any other position on abortion other than their radical position."
PRO-LIFE DOCTORS SILENCED: AAPLOG was *banned* from attending the annual CREOG OB/GYN medical education conference this morning. Why? @acog_org is upset that we're telling our patients how harmful abortion is. pic.twitter.com/gaImTwfEsm— AAPLOG (@aaplog) February 27, 2023
Rep. Roy's press office tweeted Friday that the congressman would not meet with ACOG until they apologize to the pro-life doctors.
"Play stupid games, win stupid prizes: My office will not meet with ACOG unless and until they apologize to these doctors and commit to welcoming them at all future meetings," the tweet read.
CBN News reached out to ACOG for comment. In an email, Rachel Kingery, the organization's senior manager for media relations and communications, responded to our inquiry with a short statement.
"ACOG members are welcome to register for and attend ACOG meetings. In addition, ACOG also welcomes exhibitors that align with our shared commitment to the advancement of evidence-based, scientific information," the statement said.
Founded in 1951, the organization claims it has more than 60,000 members nationally.
According to ACOG's pro-abortion policy which was updated last May and posted to its website, the group believes that "Abortion is an essential component of comprehensive, evidence-based health care."
The policy does not have any limits on abortion, but says it "strongly opposes any effort that impedes access to abortion care."
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