NewsDenver Health Begins to Offer Elective Abortions

Denver Health Begins to Offer Elective Abortions


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As Colorado abortion providers continue to care for out-of-state patients, Denver’s oldest hospital has stepped in to help meet the demand. Denver Health has always provided medically necessary abortions, but now they are offering elective abortions.

Dr. Spencer McClelland is the medical director of Denver Health’s new Reproductive Options Clinic.

He said the reversal of Roe v. Wade accelerated discussions about elective abortions that hospitals were already having.

“Denver Health’s mission is to care for the most vulnerable patients in our population. Given that abortion restrictions often impact these patients the most, we thought it was worth considering whether our mission was being fully achieved until we began offering this service as well,” Mike Leland said.

McClelland said abortion care in the area has become strained and Denver Health can no longer rely on surrounding clinics to treat patients.

Colorado abortion providers have been feeling the impact of new restrictions in neighboring states.

According to Planned Parenthood, they have tripled the number of out-of-state patients receiving abortion care in Colorado. Currently, about 35 percent of abortion patients come from out of state.

The influx of abortion care has had a ripple effect, affecting other medical services at some providers. McClelland said the women’s care Denver Health has long provided will not be affected.

“When we look at providing abortion clinics we make sure we are looking at the balance of all the other services that exist within the obstetrics and gynecology department and how those services can be maintained with the current numbers. We have not identified issues with the provision of other routine services, ” McClelland said.

Abortion costs at Denver Health are comparable to other abortion providers in the area.

McClelland said with the help of organizations like Cobalt, an organization that helps women overcome barriers to abortion, their patients pay little or no cost.

The Cobalt Abortion Fund provides direct financial assistance to individuals seeking abortion care, from procedure funding to travel assistance. It is 100% donor funded.

“What happens is someone will call the provider and say they have an appointment and need help paying for it. They will then contact us for financial support. What we do is patient-driven and we work with Rocky Base The many health care providers in the district work together in the mountains,” said Laura Chapin with Cobalt.

The Colorado constitution prohibits the use of state funds for abortion care.

Women who have health insurance through a state or government employer and women who receive Medicaid coverage cannot rely on their insurance to pay for any part of the cost of abortion care. They must pay the full cost of care themselves.

“The way patients pay is separate from the hospital’s funding. It’s a self-pay service,” McClelland explained. “Most insurance doesn’t cover it, especially Medicaid, which is what most of our patients have.”

McClelland said Denver Health’s Reproductive Options Clinic has received a lot of support from beyond the hospital.

However, anti-abortion groups like Colorado Right to Life say the clinic is nothing to celebrate.

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