I only met Henry Morgantaler once. It was in the mid-1980’s when he was embroiled in his endless legal battle over Canada’s abortion law.
It was at the Winnipeg home of a former Lieutenant Governor, who was married to a nurse, whose father had been Premier of Manitoba in the 1950’s. It was a fundraiser to help pay the doctor’s legal expenses. By then he had an abortion clinic in Winnipeg where police were constantly patrolling in case of possible violent confrontations on the picket line that was there 24 /7.
The pendulum had moved considerably on the issue. I was asounded to hear my 73 year old mother declare that she was Pro Choice, although she quickly reassured me that I had been very much a wanted child.
Morgantaler was a survivor of the Nazi Holocaust. That may have explained why he was so willing to be a martyr if need be. I believe it’s known as survivor guilt.
Just a few years later, the legal battle over abortion came to an end when the law that Morganthaler was fighting was struck down. When he died a few days ago at the age of 90, the Prime Minister’s Office in Ottawa said there would be No Comment , except to say that “the abortion debate will not be re-opened in Canada, as long as Stephen Harper is Prime Minister.”
Harper and most other politicians would rather endure the Senate Scandal any day compared to the nightmare that is the abortion debate. It’s unfortunate because there is much that should be debated when it comes to unwanted pregnancies and unwanted children that are born in Canada.
I never heard anyone ask him the question but I’m betting that even Henry Morgantaler would agree that abortion should be a last resort when it comes to birth control.
I’m Roger Currie