Rio Rancho, Farmington Patients Forced to Travel
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.
Clinics in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho and Farmington are likely to close in September. Two other closures are planned in Colorado and one in Wyoming, Planned Parenthood officials said.
The closure of Albuquerque’s Nob Hill clinic has been anticipated for several years as part of a plan to build a new center in the city, which currently has three Planned Parenthood clinics. Patients who sought care at the Nob Hill location will be transferred to the two other clinics, one of which is only 1.2 miles away at 701 San Mateo Blvd. NE., the only Planned Parenthood clinic offering abortion services in the state of New Mexico.
But the 1,400 patients in Farmington and 1,800 in Rio Rancho aren’t so lucky.
They may have to transfer to another provider in their community or travel farther to find a Planned Parenthood clinic. Those who live near the northern border may choose to seek care at Planned Parenthood clinics in the Colorado towns of Cortez or Durango.
In response to threats by Donald Trump’s administration and Republicans in Congress to cut off federal funding as part of efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, Planned Parenthood held their largest benefit in February. Although $125,000 was raised, the contributions aren’t enough to sustain all the clinics in the region.
Planned Parenthood has often been targeted by conservatives because it offers abortion and birth control for women among its countless, life-saving services. Just this month a bill that cleared the U.S. House of Representatives includes a provision that blocks Planned Parenthood from receiving reimbursements for patient services through the Medicaid program.