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WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) – The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) has  moved upcoming annual meetings from Texas to California and Colorado in opposition to the Texas Heartbeat Act, which effectively bans abortions on babies with beating hearts. 

The SMFM shared in an email to its members on October 29 that a clause in their 2025 annual meeting contract allowed them to terminate the contract if any government jurisdiction “over the region of the event venue” “pass[ed] a law, rule or regulation that restricts abortion prior to viability (22 weeks’ gestation).” This provision was allowed by a “frustration of purpose” clause. 

While the SMFM 2023 annual meeting contract was signed before their “frustration of purpose” clause became standard, the SMFM said they decided to pay the cancellation penalty for their contract with a Grapevine, Texas venue, and have announced they will be moving the 2023 meeting to San Francisco. 

Despite the fact that optimizing “the health of high-risk pregnant women and their babies” is at the core of the SMFM’s stated mission, the organization also consider the defense of so-called “reproductive rights,” including access to abortion, as key to its advocacy agenda.  

Support for what it considers the “essential care” of so-called “reproductive rights” is not limited to defending existing abortion access but to “expand[ing]” such access, as stated in the October 29 email. 

In fact, the 2021-2022 advocacy agenda lists “protect reproductive rights [sic]” as one of its three main health policy priorities. The SMFM elaborated that it “advocat[es] for continued and unrestricted access to reproductive health services [sic]” by, among other activities, “opposing efforts to restrict access to abortion at both the state and federal levels.”  

As part of this opposition, SMFM has expressly stated in response to the Supreme Court’s upholding of the Texas Heartbeat Act that it is “deeply disappointed with the Supreme Court’s decision, which will allow SB8 to remain in effect in Texas.”

SMFM announced on September 20 that, together with other groups, it had “submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization” opposing Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban on the basis that it is “impossible for a fetus to experience pain prior to viability.” 

However, several studies contradict the claim that it is “impossible” for babies to experience pain before to what is widely considered the age of viability at 24 weeks’ gestation. In 2020, the research paper Reconsidering Foetal Pain, published in the Journal of Medical Ethics, presented “recent evidence calling into question the necessity of the cortex for pain,” citing two studies that “appear to neatly dissociate pain experience from the cortex.” It further argued that “fetal pain does not have to be equivalent to a mature adult human experience to matter morally.” 

The medical researchers, one of whom identifies as “pro-choice” (i.e. pro-abortion), argue that to act as if the fetus does not ever feel anything akin to pain “flirts with moral recklessness.” 

In its abortion advocacy, SMFM goes so far as to oppose what it considers to be “medically unnecessary restrictions such as waiting periods, biased counseling, [and] mandatory ultrasounds.”  

Considering that it supports generally unrestricted access to abortion, and not just abortions in cases when the mother’s life is endangered, it is unclear how SMFM reconciles its pro-abortion stance with its stated dedication to helping mothers and their babies both “get the best care possible” during high-risk pregnancies. SMFM emphasizes that it cares for both mother and child: “Maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) subspecialists treat two patients at the same time.” 

It is notable that the SMFM also strongly advocates for the vaccination of pregnant women with the flu vaccine as well as the COVID-19 shot, and it has frequently expressed its support in press releases and on Facebook. In one instance, the organization wrote that the “SMFM strongly recommends that pregnant and lactating people [sic] have access to COVID-19 vaccines,” despite acknowledging that “limited data exist regarding COVID-19 vaccine safety in pregnant and lactating people [sic].” 

The SMFM failed to mention reports of adverse reactions, placental issues, and miscarriages in pregnant women closely following their COVID-19 shot, which lend evidence to the claim by Dr. Michael Yeadon that the spike protein generated by the shot can force the creation of antibodies against the placenta.