SEATTLE, Washington, July 21, 2017 – With a vote of 11 to 1, the King County Board of Health passed BOH17-04, a regulation that would require limited service pregnancy centers (LSPC) in King County to post and disseminate to clients on site, in any print and digital advertising materials including Internet web sites the sentence: “This facility is not a health care facility.”
Susan Rutherford MD, a board-certified OB/GYN with 39 years of health care experience, is the Medical Director of a new ambulatory healthcare facility located in the University District area named 3W Medical for Women. This professional clinic has been falsely identified as a limited service pregnancy center. Needless to say, Dr. Rutherford and the other medical professionals involved with 3W Medical for Women are not pleased.
“This is outrageous. 3W is a legitimate healthcare facility as defined by Washington State law RCW 70.37.020. In addition, 3W does not fit within the definition of a limited service pregnancy center as outlined in BOH17-04.”
3W Medical for Women is not a limited service pregnancy center and is a healthcare facility. All medical consultations and exams at 3W Medical for Women are exclusively provided by licensed healthcare professionals under the direction and supervision of Dr. Rutherford as Medical Director.
BOH17-04 defines a “limited service pregnancy center” as a facility that is not a health care facility and whose primary purpose is to provide either pregnancy options counseling or pregnancy tests or both, for a fee or as a free or low-cost service. The mission of 3W is “to respectfully provide compassionate, evidence-based sexual health services and education necessary to make informed healthcare decisions.”
Helen Nguyen, 3W Executive Director, says “The majority of our services are unrelated to pregnancy and include well woman annual exams with breast and pelvic exams and PAP smears, problem gynecology evaluations and referrals, STI/STD testing and treatment for both women and men, and individualized consultation about fertility management and family planning. Pregnancy services include pregnancy tests, ultrasound, office prenatal care bridging to their obstetric care elsewhere, support services with referrals, and if desired pregnancy options consultation or second opinions in the same manner as in an ObGyn office.”
“We agree that the public has the right to know if a facility is a legitimate health care facility,” says Dr. Rutherford. “However, it is malicious bullying to force an authentic health care facility to misrepresent themselves and deny that they are a health care facility when in reality they are.”
Susan Rutherford MD
(206) 588-0311 ext. 302