2020 Advocacy Activities
December 4, 2020: SMFM joined nearly 350 organizations in sending a letter to President-Elect Joe Biden outlining essential biomedical research priorities for the next four years.
December 1, 2020: SMFM submitted public comments urging the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to include guidance on immunizing pregnant and lactating populations in its COVID-19 vaccine recommendations.
September 8, 2020: SMFM spearheads a letter signed by 21 members of the Coalition to Advance Maternal Therapeutics to FDA’s Office of Women’s Health urging the office to include promoting the inclusion of pregnant women and lactating women in clinical trials as a primary strategic priority.
August 19, 2020: SMFM joins the Friends of AHRQ in endorsing legislation that would provide funding to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to support critical health services research during the COVID-19 pandemic.
July 10, 2020: SMFM joins a number of national public health organizations to write to Sec. Azar urging him to renew the current public health emergency declaration in order to increase the pace of COVID-19 research and assist states and localities as they respond to outbreaks.
July 1, 2020: SMFM joins 350 organizations in a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar urging him to affirm the critical role of CDC during the COVID-19 crisis and resist efforts that would undermine its mission.
May 7, 2020: SMFM joins March of Dimes and 30+ other national organizations to write to House and Senate leadership urging Congress to include $100 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Surveillance for Emerging Threats to Moms and Babiesinitiative in the next COVID-19 response package.
April 22, 2020: SMFM writes to PhRMA, BIO, and AdvaMed urging that their member companies include underrepresented minorities and pregnant women in research related to COVID-19.
April 13, 2020: SMFM writes to Sec. Azar urging HHS to ensure the inclusion of underrepresented minorities and pregnant women in any clinical research related to COVID-19 vaccine or treatment development.
April 7, 2020: SMFM joins a number of national and state organizations to write to House and Senate leadership urging them to include the Vaccine Awareness Campaign to Champion Immunization Nationally and Enhance Safety (VACCINES) Act of 2019, (H.R. 2862), in the next legislative vehicle to respond to the coronavirus crisis.
April 6, 2020: SMFM and ACOG issued a joint statement regarding the CDC's recent removal of pregnant people from their webpage that outlines “people who are at higher risk for severe illness” from COVID-19."
March 25, 2020: SMFM joins major medical and scientific organizations, universities, and others to write to President Trump, asking that he lift the restrictions on federally funded research using human fetal tissue.
March 18, 2020: Together with the Coalition to Advance Maternal Therapeutics, SMFM writes to the NIH and FDA to call for inclusion of pregnant and lactating women in clinical trials related to COVID.
Feb 21, 2020: SMFM writes to the NIH in response to their request for information on the Proposed Research Initiative to Decrease Maternal Mortality
December 9, 2020: SMFM submitted comments to FDA’s vaccine advisory committee urging them to permit the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine by pregnant or lactating individuals in consultation with their healthcare providers.
December 7, 2020: SMFM joined more than 110 organizations to send a letter to leadership of the House of Representatives and Senate calling on them to pass the bipartisan Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act (H.R. 4995) and the bipartisan Helping MOMS Act of 2020 (H.R. 4996) before the end of the 116th Congress.
October 28, 2020: SMFM joined more than 100 organizations in sending a letter to Senate leadership calling for immediate passage of the Helping MOMS Act (HR 4996), which would allow states to provide 12 months of continuous postpartum Medicaid coverage.
October 23, 2020: SMFM joined 17 partner organizations to send a letter to President Trump urging him to immediately rescind Executive Order 13950, which will stymie efforts to combat racism and racial bias in medicine.
October 5, 2020: SMFM joined six other obstetrics and gynecology professional organizations to send a letter to Seema Verma, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, opposing proposed payment reductions for gynecologic surgery services.
September 4, 2020: SMFM submitted comments to the National Academy of Medicine on the importance of addressing health inequities, prioritizing all high-risk health care workers, and including pregnant people in its Framework for Equitable Allocation of COVID-19 vaccine.
September 3, 2020: SMFM joined more than 230 partners in a letter to Vice President Pence expressing our concerns with changes to COVID-19 testing guidelines that diminish the importance of testing asymptomatic individuals who are exposed to COVID-19.
August 10, 2020: SMFM joined more than 60 organizations in writing to CMS urging them to include quality measures for prenatal depression screening and postpartum depression screening on the core set of health care quality measures for Medicaid enrollees.
July 23, 2020: SMFM leads more than 40 national organizations to urge House and Senate leadership to extend Medicaid coverage for one year postpartum in the next COVID-19 response legislation.
July 23, 2020: SMFM joins other national organizations to write to Reps. Takano and Roe is support of the Protecting Moms Who Served Act (H.R. 6141)
July 20, 2020: SMFM members in Nevada Write to the Governor to Oppose Across-the-Board Cuts to Medicaid
July 15, 2020: SMFM joined nearly 90 organizations in writing to House leadership in support of the Improving Social Determinants of Health Act of 2020 (H.R. 6561).
June 29, 2020: SMFM joined 125+ organizations in a letter to House and Senate leadership urging them to prioritize COVID-19 testing in underserved communities.
June 2020: SMFM partnered with ACOG, AMCHP and March of Dimes to create a series of resources to support advocacy efforts to extend Medicaid 12 months postpartum. These include: frequently asked questions , talking points, and a toolkit for state advocates that makes the case for Medicaid extension.
June 9, 2020: SMFM joins the Equitable Maternal Health Coalition in writing to House and Senate leadership expressing concerns about the disparate impact of COVID-19 on Black and American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities, and the potential exacerbation of the maternal mortality crisis.
June 1, 2020: SMFM joins 40+ other national organizations to write to House and Senate leadership urging Congress to provide funding in the next COVID-19 response package to prepare for the allocation, distribution and administration of a new COVID-19 vaccine.
May 1, 2020: SMFM joined the Maternal Mental Health Leadership Alliance to write to Representatives Lowey, DeLauro, Cole, and Granger to to request additional funding for HRSA’s Screening and Treatment for Maternal Depression and Related Behavior Disorders Treatment Program in the next CARES Act supplemental.
April 10, 2020: SMFM joined other national OB/GYN organizations to write to the Small Business Administration asking that physician practices have access to the small business resources created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Public Law (P.L.) 116-136.
April 3, 2020: SMFM joined 200 national healthcare organizations to write to the White House, FEMA, and HHS, asking that the Administration take immediate action to alleviate the criticalshortage across the nation of ventilators and PPE.
April 1, 2020: SMFM joined SGO and other Ob/Gyn organizations to write to Secs. Azar and Esper, as well as FEMA Administrator Gaynor urging them to work quickly to implement the funding provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act for PPE for physicians, nurses and all health care and hospital personnel that are working to care for those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
March 31, 2020: SMFM and ACOG writes a letter to the CDC as a follow-up to a phone conversation regarding PPE for obstetric care personnel in the labor and delivery unit. On the call, SMFM and ACOG expressed concern that CDC guidance is being interpreted to suggest that OB care clinicians need not wear N95 masks and face shields when attending to patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 during the second stage of labor. The CDC clarified their recommendation on the use of such PPE.
March 30, 2020: SMFM, ACOG, AAFP and ACNM issue a statement on the safety of birth in hospitals and birth centers.
March 30, 2020: SMFM issues a public statement acknowledging the CDC and their willingness to discuss the need for adequate PPE in labor and delivery.
March 25, 2020: SMFM and ACOG writes to the Department of Labor asking that when they issue guidance specific to addressing COVID-19, they include medical professionals who are engaged in essential direct patient care as “health care providers.”
Protect Reproductive Rights
November 13, 2020: SMFM submitted comments opposing a proposed rule that would expand that global gag rule, which would further limit access to comprehensive reproductive health care services for pregnant individuals around the globe.
October 23, 2020: SMFM and 17 partner organizations sent a letter to President Trump calling on him to rescind Executive Order 13952 because of its potential to interfere with the patient-physician relationship and the provision of evidence-based care for pregnant people and their families.
- August 4, 2020: SMFM signed on to an amicus brief challenging the HHS rule “Protecting Statutory Conscience Rights in Health Care,” known as the HHS Conscience Rule, that is at the appellate level in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
- July 28, 2020: SMFM joined nearly 100 organizations in sending a letter to the NIH Human Fetal Tissue Ethics Advisory Board expressing support for the continued use of human fetal tissue in biomedical research.
- April 20, 2020: SMFM and ACOG wrote to the FDA urging them to expand its recent policy to apply to the REMS and Elements to Assure Safe Use requirements for certain drugs requiring in-person dispensation, especially mifepristone.
- April 17, 2020: SMFM signed on to an Amicus Brief in the Southern District of Ohio that addresses the concerning gap in care that the current situation in Ohio creates: medication abortion is allowed, but procedural abortion - for any patient who is not a candidate for medication abortion either because of gestational age (past 10 weeks) or other factors - is not allowed unless the patient is approaching 20 weeks, the legal limit for abortion under Ohio law.
- April 14, 2020: SMFM signed on to an Amicus Brief for the 10th circuit on Oklahoma’s recent abortion ban.
- March 25, 2020: SMFM joins major medical and scientific organizations, universities, and others to write to President Trump, asking that he lift the restrictions on federally funded research using human fetal tissue.
- Feb 24, 2020: SMFM joined with leading medical and public health organizations urging Senators to vote no on cloture for S. 311 and S. 3275