What it was like to fight at an illegal abortion clinic in Toronto during the 1980s

What it was like to fight at an illegal abortion clinic in Toronto during the 1980s
Excerpted from Judy Rebick's new book, Heroes in my Head

June 13, 2018
Judy Rebick

On June 15, 1983, Dr. Henry Morgentaler opened an illegal abortion clinic in Toronto. The Ontario Coalition for Abortion Clinics (OCAC) had chosen a spot on the second floor of a lovely Victorian house on Harbord Street, a quiet downtown thoroughfare lined with bookstores and cafés near the University of Toronto. With the Toronto Women’s Bookstore on the ground floor, we were assured of supportive neighbours. The interior staircase up to the clinic was useful for security purposes—if anyone broke in, it gave the nurses and doctors time to secure the patients—and there was a front stoop, perfect for rallies. The plan was to hold a symbolic opening for the media at 10 a.m. Dr. Morgentaler, who lived in Montreal, would arrive at 3 p.m., say a few words, and then go inside.

Continued: https://this.org/2018/06/13/what-it-was-like-to-fight-at-an-illegal-abortion-clinic-in-toronto-during-the-1980s/

Thirty years after Morgentaler ruling on abortion rights, Canada ‘still dealing with the same issues’

Thirty years after Morgentaler ruling on abortion rights, Canada ‘still dealing with the same issues’
Only one in six hospitals in Canada performs abortions and some provinces have no standalone abortion clinics at all. New Brunswick, meanwhile, continues to refuse to fund abortions at the province’s only clinic.

By Brett Bundale, The Canadian Press
Wed., Dec. 20, 2017

It’s 1979. A 20-year-old student misses her period.

“I was in my third year of university. I used oral contraceptives but I got pregnant,” the woman, now in her late 50s, said in a recent interview from Montreal. “I hadn’t finished my degree. I wasn’t ready for a family.”

She avoided the French-language Catholic hospital where she lived in Moncton, N.B., and instead booked an appointment with a gynecologist at the city’s English-language hospital.

Continued at source: https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/12/20/thirty-years-after-morgentaler-ruling-on-abortion-rights-canada-still-dealing-with-the-same-issues.html

Canada: Time to move on: Abortion debate is long over

Editorial: The Charlottetown Guardian (Prince Edward Island, Canada)
Published on July 20, 2016
And one Island man set out to put a stop to it with an application for a judicial review heard in court Monday.Kevin Arsenault’s time in court paled to that of the historic legal battles over abortion carried out by the late Dr. Henry Morgentaler.

On Monday, the determined, passionate pro-life advocate argued for roughly 90 minutes, ultimately unsuccessfully, for standing to seek a judicial review of P.E.I.’s abortion policy and laws.

Arsenault felt he brought forward compelling arguments that “the best interest of the child is an increasingly important consideration in all policy and all legislation.’’

He wanted to be a voice for the unborn. He wants all pregnant women to bring a child into the world.

Supreme Court Justice Nancy Key, in no uncertain terms, told Arsenault he had no legal standing to seek a judicial review of what the province will – or won’t – allow a pregnant P.E.I. woman to do.

It’s too bad that Key’s and the P.E.I. Supreme Court’s time wasted even 90 minutes listening to the argument.

“There are people who are directly affected by that (abortion legislation),’’ Josie Baker, a member of Abortions Access Now P.E.I., told The Guardian.

“Those are people with uteruses and unfortunately Mr. Arsenault is not somebody who is able to speak on behalf of that experience.’’

Morgentaler pushed that sentiment for years, stating that any woman should have the right to end her pregnancy without risking death.

He was not deterred when police raided his Montreal clinic in 1970. Nor was his resolve softened in the least when he was charged with performing illegal abortions.

He kept pushing for pregnant women to be able to choose whether or not to continue or end their pregnancy.

In 1988, the Supreme Court of Canada agreed with Morgentaler, striking down Canada’s abortion law, ruling that it conflicted with rights guaranteed in the Charter.

The justices found that the law violated Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms because it infringed upon a woman’s right to life, liberty and security of the person.

Many Island women have suffered a great deal over the last 35 years since P.E.I. diminished access to abortion services. Women have endured the health risks, financial strains and even attempted to self-abort.

Now it is time for Arsenault, other pro-lifers, and the P.E.I. government to leave pregnant Island women alone to make their own often excruciatingly difficult choice of whether or not they will bring a child into the world.

Source: Charlottetown Guardian