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
Council Passes Protections for Reproductive Health Physicians
In Tuesday's legislative meeting, the Council passed B23-434, the Strengthening Reproductive Health Protections Amendments Act of 2020. The legislation permits physicians who practice reproductive health from being fired or punished by employers for activities unrelated to their employment. In addition, the bill codifies the ability of physicians to work with women to determine their reproductive health options.
MSDC member Dr. Sara Imershein testified on the legislation in its December committee hearing and MSDC submitted a written statement outlining its policy on abortion.
At the same hearing, two other bills of interest to DC physicians cleared the first vote hurdle. B23-416, the BABIES Amendment Act of 2020, would require coverage for common newborn screenings, create a new reporting requirement for hospitals and birthing centers, and create a Perinatal and Infant Health Advisory Committee. The second, B23-269, the Health Care Reporting Amendment Act, is summarized here.
Sample of Legislation MSDC is Tracking in Women's Health and Maternal Health
(See the whole list of bills here)
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.
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.
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.