The Liberal government will not appeal the New Brunswick Court of Appeal decision that paves the way for Dr. Henry Morgentaler to sue the province to pay for abortions at his Fredericton clinic.
Health Minister Mary Schryer announced on Tuesday afternoon that the province will accept the court's decision that Morgentaler has legal standing to sue the province over abortion funding.
Morgentaler first launched the suit in 2002 in an effort to force medicare to pay for abortions at his clinic. The province only pays for abortions approved by two physicians and performed in hospitals.
Women who have abortions at Morgentaler's clinic pay the $750 fee themselves.
The New Brunswick government had argued he didn't have the right to take the case to court because unlike the women who have abortions at the clinic, he was not directly affected.
In January, after a judge ruled in Morgentaler's favour, the province appealed the decision. In May, three appeal judges also ruled in Morgentaler's favour.
The province could have taken the case to the Supreme Court of Canada but Schryer said in a statement that the government respects the process and the province is ready to fight the lawsuit.
"The legal case will continue to move forward. The position of the province of New Brunswick has not changed in respect to this issue. As the larger legal matter remains before the courts, I will not make further comments," Schryer's statement said.
Simone Leibovitch, the manager of the Morgentaler clinic in Fredericton, said she believes the provincial government should give up on the lawsuit as well.
"The best thing to happen now would be that Mary Schryer and the province and the attorney [general], whoever is representing the province, have some discussions with our lawyer and try to settle this without moving forward to an expensive court case, which I don't think they can win either," Leibovitch said.
Leibovitch said courts across the country have ruled that provinces must fund clinic abortions.