Abortion rights group launches website to celebrate historic 1988 Supreme Court “Morgentaler Decision”

by: Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada | Jan 15, 2013:

abortion rights logoIn honour of the upcoming 25th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s historic 1988 decision to overturn the nation’s criminal abortion law, the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada is delighted to dedicate a new website to the anniversary: www.morgentaler25years.ca

The day of the court decision – January 28, 1988 – was one of jubilant celebration for Dr. Henry Morgentaler and pro-choice movement activists who had worked for decades to win abortion rights. “Our website honours the heroic sacrifices of Dr. Morgentaler, including numerous trials and a jail sentence, before he was finally and fully vindicated by the court,” said Julie Lalonde, the Ottawa-based spokesperson for the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC).

“The website also lists the benefits that decriminalizing abortion has had for Canadian women and society, including improved health outcomes and more equality for women,” said Joyce Arthur, Executive Director of ARCC. “Canada is the first country in the world to prove that abortion care can be ethically and effectively managed as part of standard healthcare practice, without being controlled by any civil or criminal law. Our success should be a role model to the world, because Canada’s experience is proof that laws against abortion are unnecessary,” said Arthur.

The Supreme Court of Canada had struck down the abortion law because it violated women’s rights to bodily security, as well as life, liberty, and autonomy. The justices ruled the law unconstitutional because it required a woman to obtain approval from a committee of three doctors before she could get an abortion, resulting in discriminatory obstacles and delays that increased medical risks.

“We invite the media and public celebrate the anniversary with us by signing the Guestbook on our website, checking out one of the events listed on our Events page, sharing a personal story about meeting Dr. Morgentaler, or sending him a private message,” said Lalonde. “The site is also a place to learn more about Canada’s abortion rights history and the Morgentaler Decision.”

The website contains many articles and photos related to the historic Supreme Court decision and the decades-long struggle by the pro-choice movement to achieve access to abortion for women. It includes a biography of Henry Morgentaler, a list of books and films featuring Dr. Morgentaler, a comprehensive history of the struggle for abortion rights, excerpts from the Supreme Court decision, updates on abortion access today in each province, and much more.

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