Another Colorado hospital stops letting women get their tubes tied, renewing questions about reproductive rights |

Another Colorado hospital stops letting women get their tubes tied, renewing questions about reproductive rights

Colorado has one of the least restrictive abortion laws in the country, but health care advocates say women in rural and mountain towns often lack reproductive health care access

Jennifer Brown
The Colorado Sun
An aerial view of Durango looking west toward Smelter Mountain on the left, U.S. 160/550 running toward Perins Peak and the La Plata Mountains in the background.
Josh Stephenson/Special to The Colorado Sun

When the only hospital in Durango with a maternity ward decided that it would no longer let women get their tubes tied, there was no public announcement. 

Mercy Hospital’s website doesn’t spell it out, either. 

Instead, a read-between-the-lines statement added to the Centura Health hospital’s website in September noted that Mercy is “responsible for conducting itself in a manner consistent with the ethical principles of the Catholic church ministry.” The hospital had recently completed a “reeducation” of hospital staff and board members regarding the church’s ethical and religious directives, it said, adding that “patients are fully informed of all treatment options.” 

Doctors who deliver babies at Mercy said they were told that beginning April 15, they can no longer provide post-cesarean-section tubal ligations, a sterilization procedure in which the fallopian tubes are cut. Women who have decided not to have more children often have their tubes tied immediately after a C-section, when they are already under spinal anesthesia, sparing them from having to schedule a separate surgery. 

The hospital already prohibited tubal ligations after vaginal births, but had been allowing them after C-sections because it had been considered an undue burden to make patients schedule a separate surgery at another hospital, doctors said. 

Read the full story on

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Summit Daily is embarking on a multiyear project to digitize its archives going back to 1989 and make them available to the public in partnership with the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. The full project is expected to cost about $165,000. All donations made in 2023 will go directly toward this project.

Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.