WAFP Opposes Legislative Interference of the Patient-Physician Relationship

In 2019, the Washington Academy of Family Physicians adopted a policy statement concerning the availability of abortion and other reproductive care:

The Washington Academy of Family Physicians stands with our national American Academy of Family Physicians and colleagues in the Group of 6*; we oppose any legislative attempts to interfere with the patient-physician relationship, unnecessarily regulate the evidence-based practice of medicine, or criminalize physicians who provide safe, legal and necessary medical care. We firmly believe abortion is a decision to be made between a woman and her physician; as such, we support all clinicians trained to provide abortion care within the bounds of Washington State law. Our members continue to work to prevent the need for abortion care by affirming universal access to contraception and encouraging scientifically-based sex education in our communities.

Texas’ SB 8, passed in May and enacted this week after the US Supreme Court refused to act on an emergency appeal, is contrary to the tenets in that policy. On Sept. 2, the Group of 6 released an updated statement in response to the enactment of Texas SB 8. “This new law will endanger patients and clinicians, putting physicians who provide necessary medical care, or even offer evidence-based information, at risk, by allowing private citizens to interfere in women’s reproductive health decision making,” the statement read in part. “Moreover, this law virtually eliminates women’s access to evidence-based, comprehensive care and information, and denies women their right to make decisions about their own health.”

*The Group of 6 referred to in the statement is a collaboration of six medical societies: AAFP, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Physicians, the American Osteopathic Association, and the American Psychiatric Association. Their original statement regarding political interference in evidence-based medicine, was released in May 2019.