More women along Colorado's Front Range will have access to affordable, life-affirming health services thanks to a new partnership between Catholic Charities of Denver and Bella Natural Women’s Care.
Larry Smith, president of Denver Catholic Charities, made the announcement at the annual Beacon of Hope Gala on Jan. 30, an annual charity dinner and auction that supports women’s health centers in the Archdiocese of Denver.
“By providing women in our community with truly life-giving and comprehensive medical services, regardless of their ability to pay and with the support they need, we will show them and walk with them in a way that they’ve never experienced before,” Smith said before the gala.
Bella Natural Women’s Care opened just over a year ago and has served nearly 1,300 patients. The clinic specializes in nearly every areas of women’s health, including obstetrics, annual exams, gynecology, infertility treatment, menopause care, and even abortion pill reversal through “conventional and natural methods in line with Church teaching.”
Dede Chism, co-founder of the clinic, told CNA they recognized the need to expand their services and are glad to be part of the continuum of care offered by Denver Catholic Charities.
Through the partnership, Bella will provide an even greater number of women with comprehensive health care beyond pregnancy resources, regardless of their ability to pay.
This addition comes as part of Catholic Charities of Denver’s plan to expand women’s health services by forming partnerships with already existing clinics and resource centers throughout the area, as they did when they incorporated Real Choices Pregnancy Resource Center last October.
Clinics that already provide free pregnancy testing and ultrasounds, including Lighthouse Women’s Center and Real Choices, will be transformed into “satellite offices” of Bella, Chism said.
She described the situation of a woman visiting the clinics for a free ultrasound and counseling, who is then able to be connected with further services through the network of providers.
“With Bella nurse practitioners or midwives in the clinic, together with the awesome (Lighthouse or Real Choices) staff, they love and care for this woman, provide education and initial exam, she gets connected into the robust resources of (Denver) Catholic Charities,” she said. Those resources include counseling at Regina Caeli; housing, daycare, and help finding work from the Fr. Ed Judy House; or baby supplies from Gabriel House.
“What we know now is women feel whole again through this continuum of care,” Chism said. “The most important thing we can do is walk with a woman on her journey. It’s one thing to have her decide against an abortion, and another to help her plan a new life. Being able to have a close relationship, plug her in and set her up for success with the resources of Catholic Charities is beautiful.”
Smith said that the aim of the partnership is to provide women with “true alternatives” to abortion clinics.
“We have to show them hope, because the pro-abortion movement tells them there is none,” Smith said. “We want to let people know that there are true alternatives … women can receive a continuum of care that helps them appreciate their dignity in the eyes of God, and then a community that supports and walks with them throughout their pregnancy and on to the early beginnings of their family.”