As a woman in Durango, I was disturbed to learn that the sale of Durango Family Medicine to Mercy Regional Medical Center would increase the gap in coverage for reproductive issues in our community. The new clinic, Mercy Family Medicine, will be discontinuing the former practice’s obstetrical care, vasectomies and IUD placements.
Being owned by a Catholic hospital and Centura Health, the medical practice will no longer be able to provide some birth control options because it conflicts with the religious beliefs not of the patient or doctor, but of the nonprofit organization that owns the practice. The medical practice will not provide obstetrical care, because it is not financially advantageous to Centura Health.
The new gap in health care for women will put a burden on the medical community and families wanting to prevent unintended pregnancies. While the Catholic Church allows for natural family planning, the “rhythm method,” it does not permit the doctors employed by them to put in IUDs, perform vasectomies or tubal ligations in most cases. These latter methods have a failure rate of 1 percent (epigee.org). The rhythm method has a range of success from 13 percent to 20 percent.
I tried the rhythm method last year. My son is now 3½ months old.
I hope women in our community are able to find other places to meet our family planning and obstetrical needs, as Centura Health is certainly not looking out for our needs, only its own religious agenda.