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AMA Policies Oppose Criminalization of Pregnancy Loss

January 12, 2023

Mid-January 2023

The American Medical Association (AMA) has adopted policies opposing the criminalization of pregnancy loss in the wake of the Dobbs decision that overturned Roe v. Wade. The policies were adopted by delegates to the Interim Meeting of the AMA House of Delegates.

The policies are intended to prevent criminal charges against patients and physicians who are affected by pregnancy loss resulting from medically necessary treatment for illnesses such as cancer. Ethical guidance from the AMA encourages physicians to use their best professional judgment when laws prevent urgently needed medical care. After adopting the policies, the AMA clarified its guidance regarding abortion, which expressly permits doctors to provide abortions in upholding good medical practice.

In a press release addressing the policies, the AMA said it will advocate for private insurers and public health programs to cover abortion services. Additionally, the association will advocate for lawmakers to codify legal protections for health care providers who offer these services.

The policies also support abortion training and education opportunities for medical students and residents, specifically advocating for the availability and funding of abortion training programs.

“Since the Dobbs decision, health care in the United States has been thrown into chaos, with life-or-death decisions deferred to hospital lawyers, patients needing care driven across state lines, and uncertainty over the future of access to reproductive health care,” said AMA President Jack Resneck Jr., MD. “The AMA is steadfastly opposed to governmental interference in the practice of medicine, especially for well-established, medically necessary treatments.”

Source: AMA, November 16, 2022.

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Mid-January 2023

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