16 February 2020 | Abortion rights at North Coast Family Health Center in Mendocino, California, appear at risk as Adventist Health is poised to take over management of the facility.

Advocates for abortion rights believe that the Adventist system’s opposition to abortion in most cases will negatively affect the Fort Bragg-based facility’s current policy of allowing treatments such as ending pregnancies using medications.

The Mendocino Coast Health Care District lost $1.2 million in the 2018 fiscal year and believes that its only chance of survival is handing over management of the hospital and other facilities to the Adventist Health network of hospitals.

California Healthline reported that a vote on whether to approve the 30-year lease agreement is set to take place March 3.

Adventist Health officials have said that they will not restrict the use of medication abortions at the clinic in the event of a takeover, even if Adventist beliefs restrict the use of abortion.

Bob Beehler, an Adventist Health mergers and acquisitions executive said that the position of the system had changed after medication abortion became available. He claimed the system’s opposition to abortion had been based on how it had previously been carried out, in a hospital.

Adventist Health has hospitals, clinics, home care agencies, hospice agencies and joint-venture retirement centers in both rural and urban communities, serving more than 80 communities across the western United States and Hawaii. The healthcare system is affiliated with the Adventist Church.

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