My name is Stephanie McDowell and I am the Executive Director at Bridgercare. I have worked at Bridgercare for 18 years, and what is unfolding this year is unlike anything I have seen before. Reproductive healthcare and sex ed in Montana have never been more threatened than they are right now.
During the last legislative session, bills were passed that work to undermine family planning clinics across the state. The fallout of the session has left us facing harmful barriers to providing services, referrals, and education. These bills obstruct access to critical healthcare for those who need it most.

Your gift will protect access to affordable healthcare services, which patients desperately need.

Please give whatever you can by December 31st.

I’ve lived in Bozeman since I was a freshman at MSU. Shortly after arriving here from South Dakota, I heard about Bridgercare (or Bridger Clinic, as it was called back then). Throughout my four years in college, many friends and I used this little clinic for affordable birth control, annual checkups, STI testing and treatment, and other sensitive sexual health needs. Bridgercare was there for me when I needed them.

Bridgercare’s support helped me graduate college, have two beautiful children when my partner and I were ready, and become a leader in work that is my lifelong passion.
My story is like so many of our patients that we care for every day.

Will you make a gift of $25, $100, or $250 today and invest in the next generation of leadership, both here in the Gallatin Valley and in our world?

(Nurse Catherine providing education to a patient…
This isn’t political. This is just healthcare.)

Bridgercare is committed to not being alarmist. We believe our focus should always be on our patients, because they are what makes Bridgercare and our Montana communities vibrant and strong. We don’t exaggerate, and we hold ourselves accountable to being honest with you.

But today, I must be frank about the urgent and alarming threats coming from the state. Without support from people like you to ensure these services stay accessible, these threats will hurt so many of our friends and neighbors.

These bills devalue the lives of many of our patients.

The goal of these bills is NOT to improve healthcare. It’s about power and control. Your gift by December 31st ensures that a patient always has access to care that provides them the freedom to care for their own body and take charge of their own future.


Just recently, our provider Sue was in a medical visit with a young woman who had recently graduated from MSU, and was moving back to her tiny hometown in rural Montana. She had booked a next-day appointment to get an IUD (birth control that lasts 5+ years) because once she moved, the closest clinic for her would be over an hour away.

She told Sue, “I don’t like going to the doctor at home because almost all the providers are men, and they never stay for more than a couple months. I’m constantly seeing someone new. I’ve never felt like any of them care about me or understand what I need.”

If more support is ripped from the communities that need it most, people living in rural areas will be even more isolated from the care they need.

As the largest family planning clinic in the state, Bridgercare is seeing patients from all across the region. You can help ensure these patients have access to comprehensive, compassionate care.

This isn’t about politics – this is about ensuring access to care that allows people to take charge of their future, care for their physical and mental health, and plan for their families. Will you join us?

Your generous gift of… 

$40 covers the cost of an STI test for a patient of any gender

$60 pays for a no-cost mental health session with our counselor

$140 provides a lesson on consent to high school students… which might be the ONLY time they get this information

$270 pays for an annual exam & cancer screenings for an individual who can’t otherwise afford care 

$500 helps a survivor of domestic violence access free healthcare services

$1,200 covers the cost of an IUD (99.9% effective birth control) for an uninsured patient 


In Montana, we believe in personal freedom and showing up for those in need. By supporting Bridgercare, you live out those same values –

You believe in the freedom of bodily autonomy and the freedom to live a healthy life as your true self.

You support exploration and adventure by allowing people to live the lives they dreamed possible and to have children if and when they are ready.

We can’t allow anyone to take that away. By donating today, you are showing up for a patient who needs you right now. You are making the statement that everyone deserves kindness and care, no matter where they were born, how much money they have, or who they love.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and for supporting Bridgercare, however you can. It will make all the difference.
In solidarity,

Stephanie McDowell


P.S. Reproductive healthcare and sex ed in Montana have never been more threatened than they are right now. Bills passed during the legislative session this year devalue the lives of many of our patients, and we need your help. Please make a gift by December 31st to ensure that politics never get in the way of Montanans’ personal healthcare.