From 2009 – 2011, Our Bodies Ourselves honored the work of women’s health advocates worldwide by asking readers to nominate their favorite women’s health hero. View all nominees by year: 2009, 2010, 2011
Entrant: Peggy Cooke
Nominee: Simone Leibovitch, Clinic Manager, Fredericton Morgentaler Clinic
Simone is the manager of the abortion clinic where I work as an office assistant and volunteer co-ordinator. I have worked with her for two years.
Simone is kind, humble and honest. She worked at a women’s shelter for twenty years, and her commitment to helping women is evident in everything she does. She recognizes every patient as an individual, with her own story and experiences, and her own unique decisions to make. Simone is always respectful of patients’ beliefs and feelings, and it is always clear that the final decision is up to the patient.
Over the last year, things have been difficult at the clinic. Along with the constant pressure from the (very strong) anti-choice organization in our city (whose headquarters are next door to the clinic), the flood last Spring did considerable damage to our building. Simone has dealt with this extra financial and emotional pressure with class. She always makes herself available to the patients and staff. She has been 100% accommodating to me in every way a boss can be.
I am very proud of our clinic, and I know that Simone is largely responsible for the atmosphere of professionalism and respect here. She is living proof that abortion can be accessed in a safe and caring facility, and it doesn’t have to be a stressful ordeal. Simone is my hero because she gives women in very emotional situations the room to vent, to express themselves and to be respected and cared for.