Dr. Henry Morgentaler is finally among those named to the Order of Canada. Much to the chagrin of right-wing and anti-abortion groups.
Now 85, Morgentaler, a Polish Holocaust survivor who immigrated to Montreal after the war, opened his first abortion clinic in 1969 and performed thousands of procedures, which were illegal at the time.
Morgentaler, a trained family physician, argued that access to abortion was a basic human right and women should not have to risk death at the hands of an untrained professional in order to end their pregnancies.
Morgentaler’s clinics were constantly raided, and one in Toronto was firebombed. Morgentaler was arrested several times and spent months in jail as he fought his case at all court levels in Canada.
His victory came on Jan. 28, 1988, when the Supreme Court of Canada struck down Canadaâ..s abortion law. That law, which required a woman who wanted an abortion to appeal to a three-doctor hospital abortion committee, was declared unconstitutional.