Morgentaler closes Halifax abortion clinic

Abortion provider Dr. Henry Morgentaler says he's closing his Halifax clinic because local hospitals are now performing the procedure

Dr. Henry Morgentaler says he has closed his Halifax abortion clinic because women now have adequate access to the procedure at local hospitals.

The closure was announced late Friday without warning in a brief news release. Morgentaler said the clinic is no longer needed because the same abortion techniques are being used at the QEII Health Sciences Centre by a doctor he trained.

"We're looking at it as a victory for women in Halifax," said Shayna Hodgson, a spokesperson for the Morgentaler clinic in Toronto.

"They can now go get the same level of service that they would've received at the Morgentaler clinic and actually have it covered now under medicare. They don't have to pay out of their own pocket."

Pro-life advocate Ellen Chesal said while she's happy the clinic has closed, she doesn't want to see any women going to the hospital to terminate their pregnancies.

"The only victory in Morgentaler's clinic closing is the fact that it's a privatized clinic and he's not getting money in his pocket from the girls who are going in there to abort their kids," said Chesal, who's with the Campaign Life Coalition.

The closure of the clinic means there are now only two places in the Maritimes for women to get abortions the hospital in Halifax and the Morgentaler clinic in Fredericton.

The Halifax clinic, which opened 13 years ago, closed temporarily last December when its nurse-administrator left.