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#Superheroalert: How the American Board of ObGyn limited WOMEN’S #ACCESSTOCARE

UPDATE, 2023: This battle was lost. Thank you to those who tried.


UPDATE: HERE IS THE PORTAL TO SEND YOUR COMMENTS TO SAVE OBGYN HEALTHCARE: https://www.acgme.org/What-We-Do/Accreditation/New-Specialty-or-Subspecialty-Proposals Please e-mail the template at the bottom of this post to cfpcomments@acgme.org! DEADLINE IS JANUARY 23!!!

My dear superheroes, certain members of the American Board of ObGyn ARE LIMITING WOMEN’S ACCESS TO GYN CARE by decreasing the number of ObGyn residencies in the country.

If you decrease the number of ObGyn residencies, you make less ObGyns. That means less doctors to help women through cancers, childbirth, and trauma.

How are some ABOG members hurting women? By adding a new board certification called “Complex Family Planning”. This happened at the Sept 11 ABMS meeting. If this goes national, every ObGyn residency would have to have an expert who performs Complex Family Planning (and every resident may be required to get certified). This will require many residencies to close.


“Complex Family Planning” is late term abortion, which requires tearing apart a viable fetus that could survive outside the womb as a baby limb from limb. “Noncomplex” family planning is the stuff with less side effects: your contraceptives that include pills, IUDs, Nexplanon, everything else you actually need. Noncomplex family planning also includes all of the safer abortion procedures.

“But doesn’t everybody need to know how to perform abortions?”

That’s debatable, but as is, any ObGyn resident already knows how to perform a medical abortion. Every ObGyn resident also already knows how to perform a D&C, which is the standard procedure needed not just for surgical abortion but also to help women after miscarriages, and to remove some cancers. I’m a family medicine resident, and even I know how to perform a medical abortion (I choose not to). EVERYBODY ALREADY KNOWS HOW TO COMMIT ABORTION; there is no board in Europe or other wealthy nations that requires its ObGyns to have a late-term abortion certification. “Complex Family Planning” is just the willingness to kill a fetus with an already working neurological system that’s viable outside the womb–in other words, someone everyone pro-life and pro-choice has already agreed is a living baby.

The majority of ObGyns in the country today do not perform abortions, and the majority of ObGyns who do perform abortions do NOT perform late term abortions due to significant risks to the mother and the understanding that this baby can feel pain. There simply aren’t enough ObGyns to fill these “Complex Family Planning” spots. By discriminating against residencies that do not have the finances, or do not have the ideological background necessary to hire an abortion-performing staff member, we will dramatically decrease the number of ObGyns who graduate residency in the next few years.

This, of course, will make ObGyns rarer, and increase costs of healthcare for women while giving ObGyns more money–which could be the real driving factor in decreasing ObGyn residencies. Make your product rare and necessary, and you’ve got a monopoly, right?

I’m not saying all doctors, or all ObGyns, are money-greedy bastards, but you can see how this benefits the money-makers. I’m asking you to appeal to their best quality: their need to satisfy their patients.

Please write to ABOG, and ask them to demonstrate that they care more about access to care than they do about politics or money. Women NEED access to ObGyn care for their complicated Ob or Gyn cancer needs (everything else they can just come to me = P). Decreasing the number of ObGyns because there aren’t enough ObGyns who perform abortions isn’t punishing the pro-life movement–it’s punishing patients.

Because you care about women’s access to care, please make your opinion known now to ABOG and ABMS. For your convenience, I’ve pasted a small blurb you can use, with contact info below:

Subject: “Complex Fam Planning” Cert will limit access to gyn care

Dear _____________,

Thank-you for your concern about women’s access to gynecological care. I am a WOMAN/PHYSICIAN/OBGYN, and I’m writing to you because I’m concerned that a recent ObGyn board certification may severely decrease MY/WOMEN’S access to gyn care. Maybe you can help.

Recently, ABOG drafted the “Complex Family Planning” certification, which requires late term abortion experience. As you know, most ObGyns do not perform abortions, whether due to medical risk, side effect profile, or ethical reservations. Out of the ObGyns who do perform abortions, most do not perform late term abortions due to risks to the mother and ethical concerns regarding a viable fetus that can feel pain. Because of the shortage of ObGyn care in this country, I am concerned that requiring “Complex Family Planning” will cause many residencies to close: there simply are not enough late term abortion providers in the country to fill all the spots if “Complex Family Planning” experts become required at all residencies. Closing residencies means further limiting an already limited specialty, and limiting much-needed access to care.

From an outside perspective, it almost seems like this is an intentional increase in the cost of ObGyn care. I understand that if there are less ObGyns, they will become more expensive for patients to access, and individual doctors may indeed profit from the monopoly. However, this seems entirely contrary to the ACOG’s stated mission of improving contraceptive, obstetric, and gynecological access for women. A worsened physician shortage will also increase stress and suicide rates among already strained ObGyn specialists.

The country needs every ObGyn we can get. Please do whatever is in your power to prevent the “Complex Family Planning” certification from becoming a nationwide requirement, and keep the doors open for women to access inexpensive contraceptive care.

Thank-you very much,


UPDATE: HERE IS THE PORTAL TO SEND YOUR COMMENTS: https://www.acgme.org/What-We-Do/Accreditation/New-Specialty-or-Subspecialty-Proposals Please e-mail the above template to cfpcomments@acgme.org.

You may also send feedback to certificationmatters@abms.org and COCERTpublicinput@abms.org)

ABOG Board of Directors (https://www.abog.org/about-abog/board-of-directors)

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ABMS leadership (https://www.abms.org/about-abms/leadership-team)

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ABMS snail mail address:

American Board of Medical Specialties

353 North Clark Street

Suite 1400

Chicago, IL 60654

(312) 436-2600

ACGME Contact information

Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education

401 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 2000

Chicago, IL 60611

Telephone: 312.755.5000

Fax: 312.755.7498