Women's Health


MSDC has long advocated for women's health protections, the rights of women physicians, and affordable care for women's issues. MSDC works closes with ACOG, AAFP, AAP, and other specialty organizations to craft local legislation that allows DC to be the best place to practice women's and maternal medicine.

In the face of a maternal mortality crisis in the District, engagement in these issues is more important than ever. Learn more about how MSDC is working to protect the health of women, mothers, and babies in all wards in the city.

MSDC Statements and Testimony on Women's Health Issues


MSDC Announces Unconscious Bias Task Force

Feb 18, 2020, 09:05 AM by MSDC Staff
MSDC has created a task force on unconscious bias in medicine and welcomes your involvement.
In December, the MSDC Board of Directors approved the creation of a new task force on unconscious bias in medicine in the District. Today, the task force is pleased to share its preliminary members and mission.

The task force is charged with examining if/how unconscious bias plays a role in medicine in the District of Columbia and what strategies can be used to combat its effects. The task force will interview leaders in this field - both medical and non-medical - and use this information to create a series of recommendations for physicians. As the professional society for physicians in the District, MSDC's task force will serve as importance guidance on how ALL physicians and health professionals can ensure their medical practice is as free from unconscious bias as possible.

MSDC welcomes any physician interested in this task force to join and participate. For more information please contact Robert Hay Jr. at 202.466.1800 x101 or hay@msdc.org. 

The task force will be chaired by Dr. Matthew Lecuyer, MD, MPH. Dr. Lecuyer is an emergency medicine physician at Children's National Hospital in Washington, DC. Current task force members include:

  • Tamika Augste, MD; Chair OBGYB Clinical Practice Council, MedStar
  • Kim Bullock, MD, FAAP; Chair, MSDC Task Force on Family Violence
  • Laurie Duncan, MBBS, FACP, MS; Member, MSDC Executive Committee and MSDC Physician Health Program
  • Isela Melendez-Carpio, M.Ed., Georgetown University School of Medicine
  • Alicia Khan; Medical Student
  • Marjorie Williams, MD
  • J. Desiree Pineda, MD, FACP; President, MSDC (ex officio)

Information on meeting schedules and procedures will follow in the coming weeks.

Sample of Legislation MSDC is Tracking in Women's Health and Maternal Health

(See the whole list of bills here)

Postpartum Coverage Act of 2019 (B23-326)

What does the bill do? Extends postpartum inpatient and outpatient benefits to at least one year after childbirth

MSDC position: We support this legislation and the extension of insurance benefits to mothers and babies to help maternal health in the District

Current status: SUCCESS. The bill passed the Council and was signed into law by the Mayor on August 14, 2020.

Strengthening Reproductive Health Protections Act (B23-434)

What does the bill do? The bill prohibits the District government from interfering with patients' reproductive health decisions and prohibits employers from punishing physicians who perform abortions or sterilizations outside of their employment.

MSDC position: We support this legislation as it allows physicians freedom of practice.

Current status: SUCCESS. The bill passed the Committee on Government Operations in January. MSDC submitted testimony at the December hearing, and MSDC member Sara Imershein testified at the hearing. The Council passed the bill and the Mayor signed it into law on March 23, 2020.

Maternal Health Care Improvement and Expansion Act (B23-362)

What does the bill do? The bill extends coverage for maternal health issues and fertility preservation, creates a Maternal Health Center in the District, and mandates two hours of cultural competence CME for health care providers.

MSDC position: We oppose the bill without changes due to inclusion of mandatory CME and some of the definitions in the bill being medically questionable.

Current status: The bill had a hearing in the Committee on Health in December, with MSDC member Dr. Sara Imershein testifying for MSDC and ACOG.