HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Following the Supreme Court’s ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade, a Rio Grande Valley health expert said it is now more important for healthcare workers to provide care despite beliefs. 

Hidalgo County Health Authority Dr. Ivan Melendez said the Supreme Court has changed the landscape for women’s reproductive care in Hidalgo County. Melendez said that after the ruling there could be patients seeking alternative methods of treatment. 

“There’s definitely a statistic that is associated with restrictions and limiting terminations with people taking it upon themselves by going to a different country, by using unproven techniques, by doing alternative methods to terminate that pregnancy,” Dr. Melendez went on to say, “my strongest recommendation is to please do not do that. Please seek medical help.”

Melendez said it is important for healthcare professionals to put their beliefs aside during this time to avoid a dangerous outcome for patients. 

“We’re not in the business to judge, we’re in the business to be your partners in whatever healthcare you choose.” Melendez said, “When we tend to vilify terminations by making a mother feel guilty. It would certainly be reasonable to expect, especially in younger people, to take the matters into their own hands.”

He said there are other options expectant mothers can go to in the community if their pregnancy isn’t desired. 

“My strongest recommendation is to check with those agencies in the community. Rather it’s the health department, Planned Parenthood, Catholic Charities, and ideally your doctor who can walk through with you and explain what those risk factors are,” said Melendez. 

Melendez said if women are experiencing a high-risk pregnancy the court’s decision should not prevent them from getting prenatal care. 

He added there is prenatal care in the community that is free, regardless of ability to pay and legal immigration status. You can visit the Health Department’s prenatal care and wellness centers.