Weld County commissioners quit providing 'Morning After' pill at county clinics

Planned Parenthood protests 'Ill-Informed' move

GREELEY, Colo. - Planned Parenthood has sent out an email blast criticizing Weld County Commissioners for a 2010 decision to stop offering emergency contraceptive at county health clinics.

"In Colorado, this is the first time we’ve heard of such a decision," said Monica McCafferty, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of The Rocky Mountains. "It's another barrier to women having access to the type of care they need."

7NEWS obtained minutes from county board meetings in the summer of 2010, which showed county commissioners were concerned that the emergency contraceptive Plan B could cause an abortion, in spite of testimony from the Executive Director of the Weld County Health Department Mark Wallace stating his "strong professional opinion that Plan B does not disrupt established pregnancies."

Records show the board members were primarily concerned about losing federal funding if they cut emergency contraceptive services, but they moved forward with the decision after stipulating that county clinics would offer referrals to other locations if asked about Plan B.

"We have seen increase in patients who say they used to go to the health department for such a service, and now going to our Greeley center, so we’re glad we can be there for those women," said McCafferty.

Planned Parenthood called the information cited by commissioners "outdated" and urged the board to hold a public hearing and reconsider the issue, in part, because there are only two clinics now that provide low-cost emergency contraceptives in Weld County.

Not one commissioner responded to 7NEWS' request for comment.

A Weld County spokeswoman said the meetings were posted and open to the public and that the clinics are required to offer referrals to patients who inquire about emergency contraceptives.

 

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