Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, which has provided women’s health care in a four-state region for more than a century, plans to close three of its six clinics in Northern New Mexico.
Clinic closures in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho and Farmington, likely in September, are part of a larger consolidation effort aimed at keeping the organization solvent for years to come, Adrienne Mansanares, of the national nonprofit’s Denver-based affiliate, said in an interview Wednesday.
“We have to make a very difficult and challenging decision,” she said.
Two other clinic closures are planned in Colorado and one in Wyoming, Planned Parenthood officials said. But more than 1,500 patients who receive care at the organization’s Santa Fe clinic won’t be affected.
Eight employees at the New Mexico clinics facing closure have been offered positions at other sites, Mansanares said. Those who decline a transfer will receive a severance package.
The announcement comes just a few months after the nonprofit saw a surge of support in New Mexico. Organizers said about $125,000 was raised at a February event, the largest Planned Parenthood benefit ever held in the state. It came amid a nationwide wave of support for Planned Parenthood following threats by President Donald Trump’s administration and Republicans in Congress to cut off its federal funding as part of efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.
Donors have been generous, Mansanares said, but the contributions haven’t been enough to sustain all clinics in the region.
Planned Parenthood often has been targeted by conservatives because it offers abortion and other reproductive health services for women. A bill that cleared the U.S. House of Representatives this month includes a provision that blocks Planned Parenthood from receiving reimbursements for patient services through the Medicaid program. But the measure faces a tough challenge in the Senate.
“Since we have been around 100 years, we are used to hostile political environments,” Mansanares said. “We have to continually readjust … with an eye toward the future.”
Mansanares said the closure of a clinic in Albuquerque’s Nob Hill neighborhood has been planned for a couple of years as part of a campaign to build a new center in the city, which now has three Planned Parenthood sites. Patients at the Nob Hill site will be transferred to the two other Albuquerque clinics, one of which is nearby at 701 San Mateo Blvd. NE. she said. The organization plans to offer evening and weekend hours at those sites to better accommodate patients’ schedules.
But the 1,400 patients in Farmington and 1,800 in Rio Rancho may have to transfer to another provider in their community or travel farther to find a Planned Parenthood site. Some who live near the northern border may choose to seek care at Planned Parenthood clinics in the Colorado towns of Cortez or Durango, Mansanares said.
The nonprofit also has been working with providers in those communities to find care for patients closer to home, she added.
Contact Cynthia Miller at 505-986-3095 or email@example.com.