ALBURY’S abortion clinic which stood to benefit from a recent NSW Government decision to create safe access zones has been shut.
The Englehardt Street clinic’s owner, Dr Kathy Lewis, confirmed the closure was a “bitter-sweet” moment due to the long-running battle to prevent the regular protests outside the facility by anti-abortion protesters from Helpers of God's Precious Infants.
The Melbourne-based doctor made fortnightly visits to the Albury clinic, but an injury sustained earlier in the year has meant it was closed.
“The issues with the protesters have been quite bad, but I’ve had fantastic support from the local community,” she said.
“Driving up the Hume every second week is a bit of a difficult task.
“If I could have found somebody to carry on the service I would have 10 years ago.
“There are not that many of us available and there is certainly not that many people prepared to move to Albury.”
Dr Lewis said some of her cases were now being handled at Wodonga hospital.
“It is a public health issue and not a private health issue,” she said.
“It is good they are going to do that.”
Albury Wodonga Health was approached for comment about the level of service being provided as claimed by Dr Lewis.
“This is the same thing that happened in Hobart where the same company set up a clinic and closed it once they had achieved legislative change as happened here,” he said.
“This clinic was never set up and run to help the women of Albury and surrounding region.”
Clinic supporter Liz Marmo said the fight to have exclusion zones created in NSW was not wasted with the facility shutting.
“It grew into a bigger campaign for women in NSW and the end result is fantastic.”
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