May 18, 2017

Three NM Planned Parenthood clinics to close this year

Three Planned Parenthood clinics in New Mexico—one in Albuquerque, one in Rio Rancho and one in Farmington—will close by this fall.

Whitney Phillips, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, which oversees clinics for the women’s health provider in New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming and Nevada, attributed the closures to “reduced patient volume” and challenges in the healthcare industry.

“There’s no secret that the reproductive health landscape right now is tough,” she said, referring to the “defund Planned Parenthood” campaigns from opponents of abortion.

None of the three clinics slated to close perform surgical abortions.

She also ascribed some of the troubles to the federal Affordable Care Act, which “impacted the way we operated, the way we bill things.” Still, she said Planned Parenthood still supports ACA “because the more people with insurance, the better.”

The coming closures will drop the number of New Mexico Planned Parenthood clinics from six to three by this September. But Phillips said the clinic in the northeast heights of Albuquerque will be expanding hours and staff during the fall.

Planned Parenthood is planning to sell the building currently housing the soon-to-be-closed Albuquerque Nob Hill clinic and use that money to build a “flagship family planning center” in the city sometime in the near future.

As for people seeking reproductive health care in Farmington after the clinic there closes, Phillips said the nearest Planned Parenthood clinic will be in Durango, Colorado. The Durango clinic will accept Medicaid coverage from New Mexico residents, she added.