Notorious Late-Term Abortionist Closes Jacksonville, NC Facility

215 - CopyOn February 29, the Crist Clinic for Women closed its doors for good. Having performed over 57,991 abortions since its opening in 1973, this is great news for Jacksonville's mothers and babies, who are now safe from abortion in Onslow County. Abortionist Takey Crist alerted patients in a letter dated February 15 that the clinic would be closing "due to unforeseen circumstances." The letter further states that Crist is discontinuing his practice of medicine altogether. Crist was one of few abortionists in North Carolina who performed late abortions. He was known for attracting pregnant mothers from other counties, and even states as far away as New York, for late-term abortion procedures. Crist performed abortions up to 20 weeks of pregnancy in his free-standing clinic and later abortions at Onslow Memorial Hospital. In recent years, the hospital stopped allowing Crist to perform abortions in their facilities. Rep. Pat McElraft recalled Crist's gruesome practices: "It was 1978 when I was doing my practical for my medical laboratory technology degree at Onslow Memorial in Jacksonville. He was doing saline abortions... We heard that if the baby didn't die they turned them face down in the saline to drown them." Abortions at the Crist Clinic reached a high point of 2,594 in 1990. Numbers declined steadily over the next several decades with 335 abortions reported in 2014. The Crist Clinic was the only abortion facility in Onslow County and one of few in eastern North Carolina. Takey Crist has been a vocal opponent of recent pro-life legislation. Notably, Crist publicly fought efforts to improve safety regulations for abortion facilities. He also appeared in political advertisements attacking pro-life legislators. Dedicated pro-life advocates have stood witness outside of the Crist Clinic to offer mothers prayers and support for decades. Speaker Pro-Tempore of the NC House Paul Stam represented the local Right to Life affiliate in the 1980's when Crist sued the group for protesting his facility. The pro-lifers were never enjoined or convicted. In recent years, a Jacksonville 40 Days for Life group has held an annual campaign of prayer, fasting, and public witness centered at the Crist facility. They were thrilled to hear that the clinic would be closing during their fifth campaign this year. In fact, Jacksonville 40 Days for Life scheduled its midpoint rally for February 29 -- and instead held a victory rally as the clinic closed its doors for good that very day. While we cannot conclude with certainty the cause of the Crist Clinic's closing, we must acknowledge the hard work of local activists who have faithfully stood witness and prayed at the Crist Clinic for many decades. Additionally, we are grateful for the North Carolina legislators and constituents who have worked to institute the lifesaving policies passed by our state's General Assembly in recent years. Victories in eliminating state abortion funding, ensuring mothers' informed consent and waiting period prior to an abortion, and improving abortion facility safety regulations have had a lifesaving impact across our state. Whatever "unforeseen circumstances" caused Takey Crist to close his abortion business, we celebrate that no more children will die at this abortion facility.
  Abortion numbers provided by the NC DHHS State Center for Health Statistics. Link for: Takey Crist Letter to Patients Re: Clinic Closure