Pro-life OB-GYNs are banned from hosting exhibit booth at medical conference

pro-life OB-GYN Dr. Christina Francis, incoming CEO of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians (AAPLOG), says she suspects they were denied an exhibit booth because of their opposition to abortion. | AAPLOG

An association of pro-life obstetricians has literally been canceled by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

For the past 15 years, the group has had an exhibit booth at the annual conference of the Council on Resident Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology (CREOG) and the Association of Professors of Gynecologists and Obstetricians (APGO), which is hosted by ACOG.

This year, without warning, leaders of the pro-life doctors’ group arrived at the conference at the Gaylord National Resort and Conference Center in National Harbor, Maryland, only to be told that their exhibit booth had been canceled.

Dr. Christina Francis, incoming CEO of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians (AAPLOG), says she suspects they were denied an exhibit booth because of their opposition to abortion — a position that puts them at odds with the conference’s organizers.

Francis took to social media to register her disappointment — and to challenge the head of ACOG, Dr. Maureen Phipps, to a debate about “the impact of elective abortion on the health of women.”

“I will meet her anytime, any place so that we can present both sides of this issue and allow not only the general public but also the next generation of physicians to decide for themselves what the evidence supports,” Francis said in a video message posted to Twitter on Feb. 27.

“Despite multiple requests for an explanation as to why, the only explanation we’ve received is a vague explanation that we disagree with ACOG, presumably on the issue of abortion. This is very interesting considering the theme of this year’s conference, which is building bridges,” Francis said in the video.

“Building Bridges: Creating Connection in Medical Education,” is the theme of the 2023 meeting, which is taking place Feb. 27 to March 1.

Francis told CNA that politics had much to do with the cancellation of the pro-life group’s booth.

“After allowing AAPLOG to exhibit at the APGO/CREOG conference for 15 years, ACOG has suddenly decided that our evidence-based support of the lives of our patients no longer fits its political narrative,” she said Feb. 28. “ACOG’s exclusion of pro-life voices will most hurt the people that OB-GYNs are sworn to serve: our patients.”

Rachel Kingery, senior manager of media relations and communications at ACOG, gave a short statement to CNA.

“At the CREOG-APGO Annual Meeting, we welcome exhibitors and meeting participants that align with ACOG’s and APGO’s shared commitment to the advancement of evidence-based, scientific information,” she said Tuesday.

Kingery said ACOG did not plan to respond to AAPLOG’s video on Twitter.

The pro-life group warned that its exclusion does damage to the medical profession.

“We wonder why ACOG is so afraid of our patients and the next generation of OB-GYNs hearing the evidence of abortion’s harm to women’s health,” Francis told CNA. “Furthermore, the scientific evidence clearly supports that abortion ends the life of a human being in the womb.”

“ACOG’s action is also harmful for pro-life students who are already self-selecting out of our specialty due to fears of discrimination — confirmed by this latest cowardly move by ACOG. If ACOG is so sure its position is evidence-based, we hope the organization will accept our invitation for a respectful and scholarly debate on the issue.”

More in US

ACOG, a professional organization for OB-GYNs, claims more than 60,000 members. The organization tends to oppose limits on legal abortion. It provides on its website a language guide for speaking about abortion that claims to be “without bias.”

“Much of the language that is colloquially used to describe abortion or discuss health policies that impact abortion has a basis in anti-choice rhetoric and is inherently biased and inaccurate — and at the very least, is not medically appropriate,” the language guide says.

Its guide rejects the terms “baby” and “unborn child,” recommending journalists and others use the word “embryo” through eight weeks into pregnancy and “fetus” until delivery.

AAPLOG‘s mission is to “encourage and equip medical practitioners to provide an evidence-based rationale for defending the lives of both the pregnant mother and her unborn child.” It was a special interest group within ACOG from 1973 through 2013, when ACOG ceased to designate special interest groups, the association’s website reported. AAPLOG partners include the Catholic Medical Association.

Our mission is the truth. Join us!

Your monthly donation will help our team continue reporting the truth, with fairness, integrity, and fidelity to Jesus Christ and his Church.