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25th anniversary of the Mortgantaler decision


2xx1xy1JD

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25 years ago, the Supreme Court of Canada, in the landmark case R. v. Mortgantaler, struck down Canada's abortion law. No new law has taken its place. The court ruled that requiring women to prove to a 3-doctor panel at a hospital that the pregnancy would endanger their lives or health interfered with their right to security of the person. It was an early use of the then-new Charter of Rights.

Memo to fundies who insist on making abortion/Holocaust comparison: Dr. Mortgantaler knows all about the Holocaust, since he was in it. He subsequently felt that he was MORALLY OBLIGATED to perform safe abortions even though it meant facing arrest.

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But that means they'll have to do actual research. Or crack open a history book. It's easier just to claim 'abortionists are EVIL!!'

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Thanks for posting! the 3-dr panel is still alive and kicking in Israel, only there it also includes a social worker and a clergy man.

As a new-ish comer to Canada, it's always fascinating to read about events that everyone's familiar with and I have no clue about.

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Thanks for posting! the 3-dr panel is still alive and kicking in Israel, only there it also includes a social worker and a clergy man.

As a new-ish comer to Canada, it's always fascinating to read about events that everyone's familiar with and I have no clue about.

Wait, you have to "apply" and justify your decision to have an abortion in Israel? Thats shocking to me!

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Wow, January was not a good month for anti-choicers. There are events all over Toronto tonight; if it weren't for lecture getting in the way, I would have attended a really interesting panel. We still aren't fully there in terms of abortion access, but we are very, very blessed to have what we have, and I will always be grateful to Dr. Morgenthaler for it.

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I did my final paper for my fantastic international law class on the differences between Canadian and US abortion law. I always thought the Mortgantaler case and the different directions the provinces went regarding abortion after the court decision was fascinating. So different that how things played out after Roe v Wade.

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Thanks for posting! the 3-dr panel is still alive and kicking in Israel, only there it also includes a social worker and a clergy man.

As a new-ish comer to Canada, it's always fascinating to read about events that everyone's familiar with and I have no clue about.

I was in high school at the time of the decision and remember it well. Mortgantaler had been in the news for years, as he was very open about his clinic, kept getting arrested and kept being acquitted by juries. We learned all about the old law and had debates about it back in grade 9. Later on, the school board got more conservative and simply banned anyone from even mentioning abortion or homosexuality, somehow thinking that this would keep controversy out of the classroom. It was yet another reason for my libertarian hippie teachers to try to undermine the administration.

From what I've heard about the Israeli system, it's a bit of a charade: women know what they need to say in order to be approved, so most get the approval, but this allows the government to claim that they don't allow abortion on demand. Do you have any more information on it?

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