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As Bozeman Health reviews reproductive policy, changes on abortion policy are unlikely

Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital exterior.
Bozeman Health
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Bozeman Health
Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital

Bozeman’s primary health system is reviewing its reproductive policy, but the routine review is not anticipated to change the organization’s stance on abortions.

Denise Juneau is the chief Government and Community Affairs officer for Bozeman Health. Abortions are performed there only if the mother’s life is in danger or, Juneau says, if the fetus is “not viable.” The hospital system refers patients seeking elective abortions to other clinics.

“We at Bozeman Health are guided by the United Methodist Church on this and many other topics and similar to hospitals across the state we do not perform elective abortions at Bozeman health care sites,” she said.

Lauren Brendel, a spokesperson for Bozeman Health, says though a medical ethics committee is examining the reproductive policy as part of a routine review, the health system plans to continue referring out patients seeking elective abortions.

“There are no decisions being made that would change our current practice of providing health care to all and providing referral for elective abortion upon patient request,” Brendel wrote in an email.

With potential input from the board of directors, the executive team will make a final decision on the reproductive policy by the end of the month.

On Tuesday the only clinic in Bozeman providing elective abortions permanently closed. The nearest clinic that performs abortions is Planned Parenthood in Helena.

Olivia Weitz covers Bozeman and surrounding communities in Southwest Montana for Yellowstone Public Radio. She has reported for Northwest News Network and Boise State Public Radio and previously worked at a daily print newspaper. She is a graduate of the University of Puget Sound and the Transom Story Workshop.