Analysis

Pro-life group: ACOG’s pro-abortion activism doesn’t represent its membership

Pap tests, cervical cancer screenings

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has become a pro-abortion advocacy organization and is no longer objective on the abortion issue, according to a video and website launched by the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG). Their website, NotMyACOG.com, which tracks ACOG’s path to abortion advocacy, claims that the ACOG “does not adequately represent its thousands of members.”

ACOG was originally founded as the American Academy of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1951 before being renamed. According AAPLOG’s video seen below, at that time ACOG adhered to the Hippocratic Oath, which forbids abortion. But by the late 1960s, the organization openly endorsed abortion and by 1971 “a narrow pro-abortion leadership majority” had “seized control of ACOG,” the video claims.

The video also claims that ACOG’s abortion drive has been a “top-down push” as evidenced by the fact that ACOG’s leadership has “never surveyed the membership on this [abortion] issue.”

 

“Pro-abortion members of ACOG’s Standards Committee started to redefine medical terms like therapeutic abortion in the late 1960s,” AAPLOG’s video states. In 1971, “ACOG approved a pro-abortion amicus brief in Doe v. Bolton, [and] the takeover was complete.”

ACOG’s activism in abortion cases begins

“Since 1973,” according to AAPLOG, “ACOG has entered the fray in every major abortion case, always in favor of the most extreme position advancing elective abortion.”

AAPLOG board member Dr. Christina Francis told the Daily Signal, “ACOG wrote a pro-abortion amicus brief for the Doe v. Bolton case in which they were the ones who actually provided that health exception language to the Supreme Court. So ACOG was instrumental in abortion being legalized in this country.”

In his book, “Abuse of Discretion,” author Clarke Forsythe attributed the ACOG’s Supreme Court brief which “endorsed abortion on demand and self-regulation by abortion providers” as a major influence on the justices in Roe and Doe. Forsythe added that the “brief was not approved by the board of directors of the ACOG or by ACOG’s membership.”

“The justices had no evidence before them as to what the vast majority of ob-gyns would do,” Forsythe wrote.

ACOG’s friend-of-the-court briefs were filed by Roy Lucas, founder of the James Madison Constitutional Law Institute. Lucas was a lawyer who helped fashion the ”right to privacy” legal argument used in Roe v. Wade, according to the New York Times.

 

Ironically, while Justice Blackmun’s opinion in Roe allowed for unrestricted abortion prior to “viability” — typically defined as the age at which a child can survive outside the womb (with 24 weeks as a longtime standard despite medical advances to help children survive as early as 21 weeks) — ACOG’s brief actually defined viability much sooner, at 400 grams or about 20 weeks gestation, according to Congressional testimony.

It read in part, “Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy at any time before the fetus has attained a stage of viability. Interpretations of the word ‘viability’ have varied between fetal weights of 400 g (about 20 weeks of gestation) and 1,000 g (about 28 weeks of gestation)…”

Image: ACOG brief in Roe and Doe on abortion viability at 20 weeks

ACOG brief in Roe and Doe on abortion viability at 20 weeks

ACOG Fellows dissent, file pro-life brief

While ACOG leadership approved of abortion on demand, many members objected. Research edited by Linda Greenhouse and Riva Siegel cited one dissenting amicus brief by ACOG Fellows and others, submitted in support of Henry Wade, the Dallas County District Attorney who defended the Texas law, leading to the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade case.

It was brought by 113 ACOG fellows. “This brief argues for the personhood of an obstetrician’s unborn patient, and also asserts that abortion is medically dangerous for women,” Greenhouse and Siegel noted. “One of the signers was Dr. John C. Willke, whose Handbook on Abortion, had recently been published.”

READ: Once again, ACOG updates its recommendations to keep in step with abortion industry

ACOG’s position not representative of most members 

According to AAPLOG, ACOG’s pro-abortion changes were “invisible to the common ACOG member, who was not privy to the deliberations of ACOG Committee.” As a result, AAPLOG’s video claims that over the years the ACOG has implemented a three-part agenda to seal its abortion support, including maintaining control by limiting member involvement and eliminating dissent through leadership purges.

Image: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) three-pronged strategy on abortion according to AAPLOG

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) three-pronged strategy on abortion according to AAPLOG

To level the playing field, in 1973, 31 obstetricians and gynecologists attended the founding of AAPLOG as a special pro-life interest group within the ACOG.

“With several thousand members, AAPLOG functioned as the largest “special interest group” within the ACOG for 40 years, from 1973 until 2013, until the College discontinued the “special interest group” designation,” AAPLOG claims.

In 2010, the ACOG founded its political arm, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. By 2014, the ACOG’s political arm had published a committee opinion which affirmed the importance abortion training “to increase the availability of trained abortion providers.”

Over the years, the ACOG has issued numerous practice bulletins and committee opinions supporting abortion rights. Today, the ACOG partners with the abortion lobby to expand abortion and opposes every reasonable protection put in place for the safety of women.

Currently, the ACOG’s official policy calls abortion “an essential component of women’s health care”

AAPLOG’s video ends with a message to all ACOG members: “ACOG has stopped representing me and it has stopped representing you.”

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