LEOMINSTER, MASS. (WHDH) - Community members are speaking out against UMass Memorial Health’s decision to close the inpatient maternity unit at HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital in Leominster and the city is filing a last-ditch lawsuit to stop it.

The birthing center at the hospital is slated to close its doors this weekend.

“Here we are, in an area with over 110,000 people, and this will be the only metropolitan or sub-metropolitan area in the country where this amount of people won’t be served by a maternity ward, it just doesn’t make any sense,” said Leominster Mayor Dean J. Mazzarella.

“You’ve got so many people so passionate about this you taking a maternity award away … and didn’t even notify the city?” Mazzarella asked.

In a statement, UMass Memorial Health said, “After fully adhering to the Department of Public Health’s (DPH) regulatory review process, the providers, nurses, and leadership teams at HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital are preparing to transition the maternity unit’s inpatient services to UMass Memorial Medical Center and to close the unit. While we do not comment on pending litigation, we will not be able to safely staff the unit after Sept. 23. Based on this we believe the most clinically appropriate course of action is to close the unit and keep it closed.”

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