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Health care for women and families

October 26, 2022

Editor’s note: The following is the third installment of a month-long series looking at life after the Dobbs vs. Jackson court decision and the pro-life movement.

By Christina Tartaglia
For the Family Life Office

When I moved to the North Country in 2014, I needed to find a primary care physician fast. I was on medication and would need a refill of my prescription shortly. I was reading an article that mentioned FQHCs, which are Federally Qualified Health Centers. I was so happy to learn that I lived close to one, the Community Health Center of the North Country. I was able to be seen right away and I was pleasantly surprised by the professionalism and thoroughness of the care I received.

The focus of health care, medicine and medical procedures is to restore sick people to health and to help them maintain their health. A few years ago, I had a medical scare where I needed to seek care from my OB/GYN. Without going into detail, I asked her why I was having the problems that I was. Her response was, “I don’t know.” She wanted to treat my symptoms with a form of contraception. She did not give me all my options. In fact, she said that she would have given me a major surgery if we were not in the middle of dealing with COVID. It was only through research, talking with other people and eventually a NaPro doctor that I learned that I did have other options. (NaPro)Technology stands for Natural Procreative. These doctors work very closely with a woman's own menstrual and fertility cycle, they find and treat the actual health issue. The NaPro Doctor at Gianna of Albany ordered tests, assessed my situation and treated the underlying cause of my problem. I follow an easy care plan, and I am doing very well. I feel very blessed that I found them.

Likewise, abortion is not health care. Abortion is an act of destruction and violence. It is the purposeful termination of a child’s life within its mother’s womb. It very often carries with it risks of psychological harm to those involved, as well as physical harm to the mother in several ways. The suicide rate after abortion was almost six times higher than after a birth. Abortion can also adversely affect a woman’s ability to carry a later pregnancy to term.

Mothers and children need true health care and support. The problem is that many women and families don’t know where to turn for help. There are many places in the Diocese of Ogdensburg which provide the help and health care that they need. Included among these places are: FQHC’s, Ascent Care of Saranac Lake, Plattsburgh Pregnancy Center, Birthright of Plattsburgh, and the Gianna Center of Albany which cares for patients in their office and via telemedicine.

FQHCs treat geographically isolated, economically or medically vulnerable populations. They accept Medicaid and Medicare and will provide care on a sliding fee scale based on ability to pay. Services are typically provided on site in an outpatient clinic and can include preventative health care, dental, mental health and substance abuse treatment. If services are not available on site, they will refer patients to other appropriate facilities. A list of FQHCs throughout the Diocese of Ogdensburg is available at: https://www.rcdony.org/images/offices19/Respect%20Life/FQHCC.pdf

Ascent Care Pregnancy Services, https://ascentcare.org/, is located at 20 Academy Street, Saranac Lake, New York 12983. The services they provide include ultrasounds, abortion pill reversal medication, and pregnancy testing.

The Plattsburgh Pregnancy Center, www.plattsburghpregnancycenter.org/home, is located at 62 Brinkerhoff St., Suite 103, Plattsburgh, NY 12901. The services they provide include pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, counseling and consultation on all pregnancy options.

Birthright of Plattsburgh, https://birthright.org/plattsburgh, is located at 50 Clinton St., Plattsburgh, New York, 12901. The services they provide include information about pregnancy, childbirth, adoption, prenatal care, community programs, parenting skills, child care, referrals for a variety of issues including medical support and professional counseling, and they also provide pregnancy tests and maternity items.

Gianna of Albany, https://www.giannaofalbany.com/, is located at 242 South Central Avenue, Mechanicville, NY, 12118. They provide general and specialized gynecologic care, using co-operative, restorative, reproductive healthcare and NaProTECHNOLOGY™ to treat the following conditions: Infertility, Recurrent miscarriage, Premenstrual syndrome (PMS), Menstrual cramps,

Ovarian cysts, Abnormal bleeding, Chronic discharges, Irregular cycles, Hormonal abnormalities,

Polycystic ovarian syndrome, Postpartum depression, and more. Telemedicine is an option.

For more information and a complete list of the services these organizations provide, please visit their websites at the links listed above.

“Any woman – regardless of age, religious belief, or affiliation, marital status or immigration status – who is pregnant and in need, can come to the Catholic Church and we will give you the services and supports you need to carry your baby to term, regardless of your ability to pay.” – NYS bishops in Toward a Pro-Life Future in the Empire State.

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