Crist Clinic for Women in Jacksonville closes

A women's clinic that's operated in Jacksonville for decades closed its doors Monday and it had anti-abortion activists celebrating.

A pro-life rally was held Monday outside the Crist Clinic for Women.

Seven days into this "40 Days for Life" campaign, Dr. Takey Crist announced in a letter that his clinic was closing due to "unforseen circumstances." Monday was its last official day of operation.

Dozens of campaigners with 40 Days for Life gathered at the Crist Clinic as they have done for several campaigns like this over the years, but Monday it was to celebrate the fact that no more abortions would be taking place inside the clinic.

Dr. Crist initially agreed to speak with WITN to shed more light on why the clinic is closing. He later decided not to comment at this time.

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An update on the closing of a women's clinic that we told you about earlier this week.

The Crist Clinic for Women in Jacksonville told patients on Monday that it will be shutting down at the end of the month. The clinic didn't give a reason, but Dr. Takey Crist told patients it was due to unforeseen circumstances.

Onslow Memorial Hospital now says it will be the custodian of Crist Clinic patient records. The hospital says it is their goal to help the patients, and provide a seamless transition of medical records.

They also say they are confident Onslow County's currently supply of obstetricians and gynecologists are well-qualified and well-staffed to accommodate the patients impacted by the closing.

Click the related link to view the press release from Onslow Memorial Hospital.

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A women's clinic that has been in Jacksonville for decades is set to close at the end of the month.

Dr. Takey Crist, owner and operator of the Crist Clinic, posted a letter on the clinic's Facebook page Tuesday saying, "Please be advised, due to unforseen circumstances, I am discontinuing the practice The Crist Clinic for Women and the practice of medicine. It is unfortunate that the clinic will close its doors on Monday February 29th, 2016 @ 4:45 pm."

Dr. Crist goes on to say, "I am sorry that I cannot continue as your physician. I extend to you my best wishes for your future health and happiness."

WITN just talked to Dr. Crist last week as his clinic was the subject of a 40-day protest because it performs abortions.

Dr. Crist told us, "Women have a right to determine their own destiny and that's it. It's legal and it's safer than it was in old days from a catheter or a coat hanger."

Protester Fred Lahey said, "This is life. We're talking about life. I'm alive, you're alive, people are breathing and then they're still wanting to put people to death saying there is no life yet. But there is life. There's life in the womb. If you're pregnant you got life."

Crist also told us last week he would continue to practice medicine to serve the patients who choose to come to him, no matter who they are.

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A 40-day campaign started Wednesday and those who are in support are taking a strong stand on abortion.

The protest will be taking place in front of the Crist Clinic for Women in Jacksonville.

Protesters are trying to convince the women who go to the clinic for an abortion that keeping the baby is a better option.

Protester Fred Lahey says, "This is life. We're talking about life. I'm alive, you're alive, people are breathing and then they're still wanting to put people to death saying there is no life yet. But there is life. There's life in the womb. If you're pregnant you got life."

The owner of the clinic, Dr. Takey Crist, has practiced gynecology in the area for decades and says women have been choosing abortion for years. But he says he has seen the disease and death that came from it before it became legal in 1973.

Dr. Crist says, "Women have a right to determine their own destiny and that's it. It's legal and it's safer than it was in old days from a catheter or a coat hanger."

Organizer and volunteer Teresa Chapman says, "We take a vow to be peaceful out here, but we don't want to be silent anymore. We want people to know that there's other options. So many people out there, you don't realize how many people are out there that can help them."

Crist says he will continue to practice medicine to serve the patients who choose to come to him, no matter who they are.