July 17, 2014 3:01 pm

Funding campaign surpasses goal to save Morgentaler Clinic

FREDERICTON – New Brunswick’s only abortion clinic is scheduled to close Friday. But a crowd-funding campaign launched last month to try and save the building from being sold has proven very successful.

The goal was to raised $100,000. On Thursday, they had raised more than $109,000.

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“What we want to do is maintain this clinic property and the space. It’s a very good medical clinic. Our hope for the future is that a reproductive health clinic will be established at this location,” said Simone Liebovitch, Manager of the Morgentaler Clinic.

“We have 16 or 17 patients booked on the last day, so that’s been the focus for me today.”

The clinic has never received funding from the government and only does procedures once a week. It could never find a doctor to use the space for a general practice during the other days of the week, which could have helped pay the bills.

Abortion isn’t covered by medicare in New Brunswick unless two doctors certify in writing that it is medically necessary and is performed by a specialist in an approved hospital.

Leibovitch says the provincial government needs to repeal that regulation, calling it a barrier to health care.

“The medical services payment act is restrictive unfairly restrictive to women in New Brunswick. It has been that way for the last 20 years.”

About 60 per cent of abortions in the province are done by the clinic. After Friday, the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre in Moncton and Bathurt’s Chaleur Regional Hospital will be the only ones in the province who’ll administer abortions.

Attempts to reach the Department of Health for comment regarding what might happen after Friday were unsuccessful.

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