The only free-standing abortion mill in Atlantic Canada stopped doing abortion on July 18 after operators of the Fredericton Morgentaler Clinic failed to convince the New Brunswick government to provide full funding for abortions committed at the facility. The abortion mill was not officially scheduled to be closed until the end of July, prompting local pro-lifers to call the closing a “publicity stunt.”

Elizabeth Crouchman, president of New Brunswick Right to Life, told LifeSiteNews, “I don’t see any victory for the unborn yet. I’m not cheering yet.”

Crouchman and NB Right to Life executive director Peter Ryan suspect abortion advocates are using the closure as part of a political strategy to ultimately pressure the government into funding the procedure in the private abortion facility. The Morgentaler Clinic dropped their lawsuit against the province seeking full funding earlier this year saying they could not afford the legal expense.

The Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada thanked the abortion facility on its Facebook page for “helping so many women over the years, and for saving countless lives.” At the same time, a fundraising campaign by Reproductive Justice New Brunswick to “save the Maritimes’ only abortion clinic” surpassed its goal of raising $100,000 online through crowd-funding site Fundrzr to lease the mill at the end of the month. They have raised $113,000 so far. Reproductive Justince New Brunswick said they are in discussions “to enter into a lease agreement and further explore options to encourage family practitioners who support a person’s right to full reproductive services, including the right to abortion.”

NB Right to Life’s Peter Ryan said he expects pro-abortion groups themselves will find the money “to rescue them at the last minute.”

There was also a rally outside the abortuary calling on the government to fund abortions at private facilities. Current New Brunswick health regulations require abortions to be carried out in hospitals and approved as medically necessary to be covered under the provincial health plan. Abortions committed in private facilities with limited medical staffing do not qualify under the province’s health scheme.

In May, the Progressive Conservative government of David Alward, reiterated the policy of all past New Brunswick governments, to only fund abortions done in hospitals. In April after the Morgentaler abortuary said it needed full funding or it would shut its doors, the Liberal Party endorsed the idea of funding the Morgentaler facility, reversing the policy endorsed by then premier Frank McKenna in the 1980s and ‘90s of not using taxpayer money to fund abortions committed outside hospitals.

Crouchman said the focus of the abortion debate needs to be about the unborn child, not taxpayer funding of abortion. “It’s regrettable to me that we as a nation are poised to perhaps eliminate more Canadians if we don’t take strong action in preventing this, in any way possible, to continue,” she said.

An estimated 10,000 unborn children have been killed at Morgentaler’s Fredericton mill since it opened 20 years ago.