Morgentaler clinic in Fredericton closing its doors after operating at a loss

The Canadian Press
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Dr. Henry Morgentaler led the campaign for the legalization of abortion. On Thursday, it was announced his only Maritime clinic in Fredericton, New Brunswick was being closed.

The Morgentaler Clinic in Fredericton will close at the end of July after 20 years of providing abortions because it is losing money.

The clinic says women have been unable to pay for the procedure and its revenues have never met expenses.

It says it cannot continue to provide services that are not publicly funded.

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.

The Morgentaler clinic charged between $700 and $850 for the procedure, depending on how far along a woman is in her pregnancy.

In 2002, Dr. Henry Morgentaler launched a lawsuit to force the provincial government to pay for the procedure.

The case has been in limbo since Morgentaler died last May.

Morgentaler was a family doctor in Montreal in 1967 when he emerged as an advocate for the right of women to have abortions on demand.



... More on this story later, including what impact the decision may have on Prince Edward Island women who access services at the clinic.


Organizations: Morgentaler

Geographic location: Fredericton, New Brunswick, Montreal Prince Edward Island

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Recent comments

  • horrible
    April 12, 2014 - 10:20

    Such places should not exists. This should be standard medical treatment that you get in Walk-in clinics.

  • Island guy
    April 11, 2014 - 19:25

    50% of the population are female. Abortion services as well as other reproductive services such as in-vitro etc should be available on the island and funded through provincial healthcare without having to jump through any hoops. The current policy of not performing abortions (since 1982) to accommodate the Roman Catholic Church is asinine. Since when did the pope make health care policy here in Canada? We used to perform abortions. All through the 1970s island women could get that service at the Prince Edward Island Hospital on Brighton Road. In 1982 the PEI Hospital (non-denominational) and the Charlottetown Hospital (Roman Carholic) closed and the staff from both moved to the new QEH. Good ol' RC boy Jim Lee was premier and he set in stone that no abortions would be performed in PEI after the QEH opened. Today a PEI woman wanting an abortion has to get the signature of 2 doctors that her request for her body is "medically necessary". This despite thousands of islanders not even having a family doctor. And Robert Ghiz continues Jim Lee's cowardly ideologically based policy to this day, 32 years later. Pathetic really. Really pathetic.

    • to Island Guy
      April 12, 2014 - 13:38

      Ask reproductive rights advocates if reproductive rights include IVR. They do not. You will find out pretty darned quick that women have ABSOLUTELY no right to help getting pregnant, but only a bigot would question not giving free help to stop being pregnant. I once asked an advocate if she would support a wider definition than just abortion, and she screamed back that I was a bigot and needed to be castrated. These people, at least the ones I have met, could not care less about women. They care about abortion. I suspect much of it is driven from the US where it is a multimillion dollar industry.

    • island guy
      April 12, 2014 - 16:51

      @ to ..... You seem to have ignored the majority of my initial post which is about abortion services and the sorry lack of such service in PEI. I am 100% pro-choice. PEI women need to have access to any and all reproductive services, whether for terminating a pregnancy or for help getting pregnant, such as in vitro - which you have latched onto (Are you pro-choice?).... This province really needs to get brought into the 20th, let alone the 21st century and stop kowtowing to a certain child abusing pro-pedophile religious denomination. I'm in my late 30s and born and raised in Charlottetown and have been pro-LGBT and pro-choice for decades - long before this bigoted close-minded island started to see the light. I still remember how a little over a decade ago how the Binns government got dragged, kicking and screaming no doubt, into adopting gay marriage as the last Canadian province to do so (alongside the redneck headquarters of Alberta). On LGBT rights and on abortion services, my wife and I are sickened at how Rome continues to push its 14th century world view on our fair shores. I completely and utterly despise the influence that this pro-pedophilia so-called religious denomination continues to influence our social and health care policies. I cannot understand why Robert Ghiz and his cabinet don't change Jim Lee's antiquated and wrong-headed policy. 32 years is a long time for a jurisdiction to remain with its head stuck in the sand denying reality...

    • get real
      April 13, 2014 - 11:50

      Then you are the minority of reproductive rights activists I have ever met. reproductive rights ALWAYS means abortion. full stop.

  • Me
    April 10, 2014 - 15:36

    I'm waiting for the first person to explain to me that sex has nothing to do with pregnancy. All on all, I think abortion is wonderful for men, as it removes all parental responsibility. If a woman doesn't abort, it is her choice and the man should be off the hook as he did not give consent to being a parent.

  • same story
    April 10, 2014 - 14:34

    Why would a clinic that cares only for the welfare of women care if they lose money?

  • what
    April 10, 2014 - 14:03

    "Morgentaler was a family doctor in Montreal in 1967 when he emerged as an advocate for the right of women to have abortions on demand." He suddenly showed up as an advocate of having the government give him money? I'm an advocate of the government giving me money.

    • to what
      April 10, 2014 - 16:50

      How dare you muddy the name of a man who, almost alone, believed women are actually people and not cattle.

    • what what
      April 10, 2014 - 20:49

      The government was already giving him money... HE WAS A DOCTOR! But instead of an easy ride as a doctor, he decided spend incredible amounts of time and money and frustration fighting abortion laws. Have ever fought a law through 3 levels of court, to have the Supreme Court of Canada tell you that "you are right - the law is unconstitutional"? NO? Perhaps it's because you are not as generous and altruistic as Mr. Morgentaler.

    • to what what
      April 12, 2014 - 10:17

      Perhaps if his financial papers were released and it was determined whether he actually profited from such acts.

  • If
    April 10, 2014 - 14:01

    Ghiz's fault for not paying for abortions. Should be able to just walk in and be billed to PEI Gov.

    • yes
      April 10, 2014 - 16:19

      Yes it is. He is married to a doctor. He should know better, how this is basic medical care like removing a mole.

    • Disagree
      April 12, 2014 - 23:15

      Are pro-choice people the only tax payers???? I think not....I want to have a say as a taxpayer on what happens here in PEI regarding this.

    • To disagree
      April 13, 2014 - 15:54

      Human rights trump politics. This is a human rights issue. Women are human. They need to not be treated like cattle.

  • Life
    April 10, 2014 - 12:18

    Wonderful! Am happy to see abortions even less accessible. However it is not a perfect world and women are still getting abortions when they see fit. So many tiny lives still being lost though sadly.

    • To Life
      April 10, 2014 - 15:39

      Hateful and bigoted attitude.

    • Agreed with life
      April 12, 2014 - 23:11

      I totally agree!! And we are not hateful.... We don't dispose of little children or encourage it... That's hateful! I'm so pleased that our government is continuing to take the right stand against abortion!

    • To agreed with life
      April 13, 2014 - 15:56

      Treating women as breeding stock it hateful. I'm sorry if this hurts your delicate fundy Christian sensibilities.

    • o come on
      April 13, 2014 - 16:34

      Agreed with life, we are the tolerant ones. You are among those who hate.