Op/Ed Opinion

Letter to the editor: Clinic’s closure is a terrible loss

I was shocked and dismayed to learn of the imminent closure of the Planned Parenthood Clinic in Middlebury. A story online cites the Planned Parenthood board of directors as deciding to close the Middlebury clinic and four other clinics in the state and on the border in New Hampshire in order “to ensure the organization is sustainable and able to meet the needs of the region, patients, and staff long term.” The abruptness of the decision must surely be a blow to the dedicated staff and the patients, especially those who have limited transportation or financial resources.

I worked at the Middlebury clinic for years and experienced the dedication, expertise and compassion shown to patients by Rachel Guy, nurse practitioner and clinic manager for over 38 years. I cannot imagine how this closure “meets the needs of patients” who have relied upon its superior, affordable and extensive reproductive health care services.

The country is reeling from the revelation that the Supreme Court’s majority intends to deny women the right to determine their own reproductive choices, established in Roe v. Wade almost 50 years ago. In addition, the effects of COVID on health care facilities has been taxing in the extreme. Planned Parenthood’s decision to close these smaller clinics targets many who may have limited or no access to reproductive health care and is precisely the wrong response. It seriously undermines the value that the organization has traditionally placed on meeting the health care needs of those who lack the resources many of us take for granted.

I urge everyone to consider the pivotal role that Middlebury Planned Parenthood plays in providing vital reproductive health care to so many who rely on it to remain safe, healthy, informed and empowered. Write your legislators, the Planned Parenthood board, this paper and others. If you donate to Planned Parenthood, please consider withholding those donations until this decision is satisfactorily explained and hopefully reversed.

Louise Giovanella

Panton

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