Internists Concerned Conscience Protection Rules Will Threaten Access to Preventive Health Services for Women

Statement attributable to:
Ana María López, MD, MPH, MACP
President, American College of Physicians

Washington, DC (November 8, 2018) – The American College of Physicians (ACP) is concerned the final rules issued by the Trump Administration that broaden conscience protections for entities with religious or moral objection to providing contraception will create barriers to care and threaten access to preventive health care services for women. ACP firmly rejects any regulation that restricts access to preventive and reproductive health care services, including contraception.

In October 2017, ACP expressed its concern about the administration’s overhaul of the contraception mandate. Internists fear that the final rules will enable more employers to request exemptions from covering preventive services for women, potentially forcing patients to pay unaffordable out-of-pocket costs for health care services and procedures they need to get healthy and stay healthy.

ACP’s advocacy efforts have long focused on improving access to health care. ACP fears that the conscience protection rules would endanger women’s health care by eradicating important patient protections put in place by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While limited to contraception, the rules create a precedent for allowing employers to opt out of other important health care services for women. These may include HPV testing, domestic violence screenings, and breastfeeding equipment.

ACP will continue to be an ally for all patients seeking access to quality and affordable health care. Access to preventive health care services, including contraception, should in no way be restricted. ACP urges the administration to embrace polices that ensure all people, including women, have access to preventive and reproductive health care coverage from their employers.


About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 154,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Contact: Julie Hirschhorn, (202) 261-4523,