Abortion Stays Legal...


AT LAST! The failure of Bill C-43 in the Senate on January 31 is a fine win for Dr. Henry Morgenthaler, founding president of the Humanist Association of Canada in 1968, and all the people who have worked so hard to make abortion legal in Canada. Abortions performed by certified physicians will not be governed by the Criminal Code, but regulated as a health matter, like other medical procedures.

Speaking to University of Ottawa students on March 6, Dr. Morgenthaler said, "We have won the war ... I am very encouraged that it will be possible to establish clinics wherever they are needed and to get more doctors to provide the service, and I do not foresee that it will be possible for any government to abrogate the rights of women that have been won. But it is important that women's groups be vigilant." He also spoke eloquently for humanism in this talk.

In 1967 Dr. Morgenthaler presented to Parliament a revolutionary brief to decriminalize abortion on behalf of the Humanist Fellowship of Montreal. The Supreme Court decision of January 1988 was a triumph for choice after Morgenthaler's remarkable saga of court cases and social action. The recent Senate defeat of the new criminal abortion bill, which had passed in the House of Commons only with enforced cabinet support, confirms choice for Canadian women and is a victory for humanist principles.

From Humanist in Canada Spring 1991 (#96)



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