I’m writing to express a deep concern for the women of WNC. Today, Mission Hospital decided to close Angel Medical Center’s Women’s Obstetrics and Gynecological care (OB/GYN) Unit because ‘it is too expensive.’

Angel serves as a critical access hospital to the far-reaching areas of the state and serves more than 95 percent Medicaid women and performs about 500 births a year. Their presence and hard work has decreased infant mortality, NICU admission, teen pregnancy, abortion rates, and improved maternal outcomes (primary c-section rate of 8 percent compared to the national average of 37 percent). As a nation, we have expected not-for-profits, such as Mission Hospital to care for populations where the government should be providing care. With women’s health care clearly on the chopping block in health care reform, we can expect more private institutions to see women’s health care as too expensive.

I mean that is what N.C. voted for right? A president and cabinet who believe women’s health is not worth it? Well we don’t have to accept this. If you’re reading this I hope that you reach out to whomever you can to stop Mission from closing Angel’s OB-GYN unit. Additionally, vote in your local elections for the health of your community.

Laura Clarke, Asheville

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