Canadian abortion clinic turns to crowd-funding to keep doors open
July 17 (Reuters) - A crowd-funding campaign to save a Canadian abortion clinic has surpassed its C$100,000 ($93,100) goal but the Fredericton, New Brunswick, facility will still close its doors on Friday while organizers scramble to lease space for a new clinic.
While state-funded abortion is available across Canada, the eastern province of New Brunswick provides abortions only in hospitals and only if two doctors agree the procedure is medically necessary.
The Fredericton Morgentaler Clinic, founded by the late abortion provider and activist Henry Morgentaler in 1993, is a private facility and does not need to meet that criteria.
Organizers of the two-week-old crowd-funding campaign, which had raised C$108,554 by Thursday (fundrazr.com/campaigns/aoCmf), said they are trying to get a new clinic up and running in the same space as the old one as soon as possible.
"The (old) clinic is up for sale, and we've been working on how we can go about leasing it. (The fundraising) has been incredible," said Kathleen Pye, chair of Reproductive Justice New Brunswick. "We're so grateful and we are so overwhelmed that we've had this support and had it so quickly."
She said donations have come from across Canada.
Clinic manager Simone Lebovitch said the Morgentaler clinic has been operating at a loss for a long time because it is only open one day a week and women must pay C$700 to C$850 out of pocket to terminate their pregnancies.
Advocates would like the new clinic to offer a broader range of services, including family and women's medicine. That way the bulk of its services could be publicly funded and it would be open daily.
Lebovitch said the Morgentaler clinic's phone lines will remain open until a new clinic opens in Fredericton. Staff will work with clinics in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto to serve women who want abortions.
($1=$1.07 Canadian) (Reporting by Andrea Hopkins; Editing by Peter Galloway)