In July of 2007, ACOG reaffirmed their statement of policy regarding abortion. Paragraph #3 states: "Termination of pregnancy before viability is a medical matter between the patient and physician, subject to the physician's clinical judgement, the patient's informed consent and the availability of appropriate facilities."
Paragraph #5 states: "Informed consent is an expression of respect for the patient as a person. It particularly respects a patient's moral right to bodily integrity, to self-determination regarding sexuality and reproductive capacities, and to the support of the patient's freedom within caring relationships. A pregnant woman should be fully informed in a balanced manner about all options.....The professional should make every effort to avoid introducing personal bias."
"The College continues to affirm the legal right of a woman to obtain an abortion prior to fetal viability. ACOG is opposed to abortion of the healthy fetus that has attained viability in a healthy woman (Dilitation and Extraction or late term abortion). Viability is the capacity of the fetus to survive outside the mother's uterus." Although against this procedure, they do acknowledge that a late term abortion may be the most appropriate procedure in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman and only the doctor, in consultation with the patient, can make this decision. ACOG also states that a select panel they convened could identify no circumstances under which this procedure would be the only option to save the life or preserve the health of the woman.
I was sort of confused by this last paragraph so don't feel bad if you have to reread it, too. Anyway, their statement of policy on abortion concludes in bold print: "The intervention of legislative bodies into medical decision making is inappropriate, ill advised, and dangerous."
So, realizing that I am editorializing here a bit let me see. Hmmmm, they are on a lobbying campaign to discourage or eliminate a woman's choice of home birth because it can very rarely cause damage to a fetus but they are against legislation to prevent a woman's choice of a late term abortion which kills viable fetuses. Am I missing something here? Am I comparing apples to apples? Is this an amazing bit of ACOG hypocrisy? Please comment as I would love clarity here. Thanks, Dr. F