Board Chair Nancy L. Stanwood, MD, MPH

Dr. Nancy StanwoodDr. Nancy Stanwood is on faculty at the Yale School of Medicine as Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Section Chief of Family Planning. She is also the Associate Medical Director of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England. Dr. Stanwood joined the board of Physicians for Reproductive Health in June 2008 and became secretary of the executive committee in 2009. She became chair in June 2013.

Dr. Stanwood in the news:

Medicine Wins Out Over Politics in North Dakota

Dr. Nancy StanwoodWe are thrilled and relieved that North Dakota’s House Bill 1456, the most extreme abortion ban in the United States, has been permanently blocked. Via our colleagues at the Center for Reproductive Rights, some background on the law:

North Dakota’s HB 1456—which was signed into law by Governor Jack Dalrymple in March 2013—is the earliest and most extreme abortion ban in the nation, making virtually all abortions in the state illegal as early as six weeks of pregnancy. The Center for Reproductive Rights and Thomas A. Dickson of the Dickson Law Office in Bismarck filed the lawsuit in June 2013 challenging the ban on behalf of Red River Women’s Clinic—the state’s sole abortion provider. A federal district court judge temporarily blocked the ban in July 2013 and then permanently blocked the law in April 2014, noting “the United States Supreme Court has spoken and has unequivocally said no state may deprive a woman of the choice to terminate her pregnancy at a point prior to viability.”

Our board chair Dr. Nancy Stanwood had this to say on the ruling’s significance:

“As physicians caring for the nation’s women, we applaud the ruling from the federal appeals court that confirms what we know: Decisions about reproductive health and well-being should be left to a woman and her doctor. Politicians have no place in my patient’s exam room, and their bans on safe, legal abortion deny women access to critical medical care, injuring their health and insulting their dignity. With the courts upholding time and again American women’s right to access abortion care, we physicians hope that politicians will stop interfering with the doctor-patient relationship and instead focus on issues that can actually improve women’s health.” 

Victory for Affordable Care and Women’s Health!

Dr. Nancy StanwoodPhysicians is thrilled at the news of the King v. Burwell Supreme Court ruling. The Court has ruled 6-3 that the Affordable Care Act may continue to provide nationwide tax subsidies to help people buy health insurance and access the health care they need.

Our board chair Dr. Nancy Stanwood said:

Access to medical care is fundamental to the well-being of the patients we physicians care for every day….We know firsthand that women often neglect their health needs to pay for other life essentials such as food and housing. This ruling ensures that no woman will need to choose between her family’s financial well-being and her own health. This is a victory for public health and puts families first.”

Read her entire statement here

Doctors Group Hails Announcement of Sen. Murray’s Contraceptive Access Bill

“It’s a commonsense and pragmatic approach to improving access to birth control.”

New York, NY—Physicians for Reproductive Health stands in proud support of Senator Patty Murray’s bill, the Affordability Is Access Act, announced today. This bill will enable women to access one of the most popular forms of birth control, with or without a prescription, and without cost-sharing or co-pays.

Background: All private health insurance plans are currently required to cover FDA-approved forms of contraception. The Affordability Is Access Act would ensure coverage of all daily-use oral contraception that has been approved or regulated for over-the-counter use by the FDA. By requiring insurers to cover over-the-counter birth control, the Act keeps contraception affordable — unlike the over-the-counter birth control bill introduced in May by Senate Republicans. The bill also ensures that retailers will not interfere with women accessing contraception.

Our board chair, Dr. Nancy Stanwood, issued the following statement:

“As a physician, I applaud Senator Murray for advancing women’s health with the Access Is Affordability Act. It’s a commonsense and pragmatic approach to improving women’s access to birth control.

“In 2015, medicine should be about safety, access, and affordability. This bill covers all three of these. We know that over-the-counter birth control is safe. And we know that when cost isn’t an impediment, women are able to get the birth control they need. That makes it easier for them to care for themselves and their families and lead productive lives. When the FDA approves birth control for over-the-counter use, women will be able to access it and afford it with this approach.”


PRESS RELEASE: Doctors Group Applauds Clarification on Birth Control Coverage

“Today’s announcement by the Administration says loud and clear that plans must cover the full range of contraceptive methods, and women’s health will be better for it.”

The Affordable Care Act has proven critical in improving women’s health, and in particular the provision that requires insurance companies cover birth control without a copay. However, recent studies have demonstrated that many insurers are not following the letter of the law. That is why Physicians for Reproductive Health applauds today’s announcement by the Obama Administration issuing guidance for insurers on contraceptive coverage, requiring that at least one of each 18 distinct birth control methods must be covered by all insurance plans.

Physicians for Reproductive Health board chair Nancy L. Stanwood, MD, MPH, issued the following statement:

“We applaud the White House for proactively addressing the health needs of women. While most private insurance plans under the ACA are required to cover all contraceptive care, too often plans fail to follow this mandate.

“As physicians, we have seen multiple cases of women being wrongfully denied contraceptive coverage they have paid for and are entitled to by law. Today’s announcement by the Administration says loud and clear that plans must cover the full range of contraceptive methods, and women’s health will be better for it.”