AMWA develops policy statements and position papers to serve as guidance for members and staff in communicating where stands on issues of the day. We select topics that have a direct impact on women in medicine and/or the outcomes of our patients in keeping with our mission and may act as a focus for our advocacy and education efforts.
AMWA Grieves Horrific Mass Shootings
AMWA grieves the horrific mass shooting of Black shoppers in Buffalo, NY on May 14 which was motivated by racism and hatred. We join people across the country in calling for racism to be addressed as a public health emergency by the federal government. Additional mass shootings over the same weekend in California and Houston highlight the need for the swift adoption of common sense firearms legislation across the country.
AMWA Continues to Support Reproductive Rights for All Including Access to Safe and Legal Abortions.
AMWA has advocated for comprehensive reproductive health throughout its history and remains committed to supporting reproductive rights for all patients, including access to safe and legal abortions.
Studies have shown that one in four U.S. women aged 15 to 44 years will have an abortion by age 45 years, and yet more than half of U.S. women of reproductive age currently live in states that have demonstrated hostility towards abortion care. If the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the result will be a cascade of abortion bans across the country that will worsen access to abortion and endanger the physical and mental health of pregnant people.
Limiting legal access to abortion does not lower the rate of abortions, it makes abortions less safe for the people that have them. A robust body of literature supports that access to comprehensive reproductive health services is essential to overall health. Legislation restricting access to reproductive health services without valid medical justification jeopardizes health. Decisions on pregnancy care, including abortion, are best left to the patient and the physician. The considerations may include, for example, maternal physical and mental health, fetal anomalies, and the use of teratogenic medications. We as physicians, must ensure that appropriate medical care, including access to abortion, is available to all.
AMWA acknowledges that access to abortion is part of comprehensive reproductive health care. Any decision about abortion care should be made in consultation with a clinician and within the context of respect for bodily autonomy. AMWA opposes any legislative barriers that would limit or criminalize clinicians in counseling their patients on medically appropriate care. Many of the proposed laws include misinformation and disinformation about abortion care. Appropriate public education is needed to counter these widespread and dangerous misstatements.
AMWA will always advocate for reproductive health access, including access to safe and legal abortions.
AMWA Supports Access to Safe and Legal Abortion
As an organization dedicated to the advancement of reproductive health, AMWA supports access to safe and legal abortion as part of comprehensive reproductive health care for all.
AMWA Applauds Reauthorization of VAWA
This week the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) 2022 was signed into law and reauthorized through 2027. This bipartisan legislation includes new requirements to increase access to VAWA-funded programs and improve responsiveness to the needs of survivors. The American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) champions the reauthorization of the VAWA.
In 2018, VAWA lapsed, and efforts to reauthorize VAWA in 2019 were unsuccessful due to strong opposition to efforts to close the “boyfriend loophole” that would extend the restriction on perpetrators’ ability to purchase firearms after conviction to include current and former dating partners. VAWA 2022 does not address this, and until federal legislation does so, AMWA hopes to see state enact laws to close this loophole.
Until there is permanent funding for life-saving programs and services for survivors and victims of so-called domestic abuse, AWMA advocates that the next VAWA reauthorization be revised to close persistent gaps in protection, service accessibility, and enforcement.
Standing with Ukrainians
AMWA has a vision of a healthier world, and consequently, we categorically condemn the targeting of Ukrainian civilians and healthcare facilities by Russian military forces. We support the right of all people to live safely and free from fear.
Access to Gender-Affirming Healthcare & Education
AMWA has a mission to advocate for equity and a vision of a healthier world, and believes that all patients should have access to medical treatment and health education, including gender-affirming care. We strongly oppose the interference of government in the patient-clinician relationship and evidence-based medical decision-making. Research has shown that providing gender-affirming care improves physical and mental health. As such, we condemn legislative efforts that seek to criminalize those participating in that care.
AMWA Calls for Halt to the Use of “Excited Delirium” as a Medical Diagnosis
The American Medical Women’s Association advocates for equity and the equitable treatment of all people. We strongly oppose the use of so-called “excited delirium,” which is not a validated medical diagnosis or condition as an indication or justification for the use of excessive force or chemical sedation by law enforcement or others. We oppose the use of psychoactive agents in agitated or otherwise distressed people in a community or law enforcement setting without a valid medical reason due to the risks these pose in non-clinical settings and the inequitable ways in which they have been used. “Excited delirium” and its resulting inequitable and often violent management violate human rights and AMWA calls for law enforcement to immediately discontinue this practice.