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Abortion doctor Morgentaler on the stress and joy of notoriety

In 1969 Dr. Henry Morgentaler emerged as one of Canada's most controversial figures when he broke the law and opened the country's first abortion clinic. Over the next two decades, the Montreal doctor would be heralded as a hero by some and called a murderer by others as he fought to change Canada's abortion laws.

By 1977 Henry Morgentaler's abortion battles subside in Quebec as the Parti Québécois government chooses to look the other way on the issue. Morgentaler continues to work at his Montreal clinic and lecture about the need to change Canada's abortion law. Life is much calmer for him now but his friends say Morgentaler is never content with the status quo. His opponents maintain that he is a show-boater who craves the public spotlight.

Morgentaler reflects on the stress and joy of his years in the public spotlight, and there are signs that he will emerge again in the centre of the abortion storm.
• Toronto Sun feature writer Catherine Dunphy wrote a biography on Henry Morgentaler entitled A Difficult Hero (1997). She portrayed Morgentaler as a courageous hero with plenty of flaws, including an insatiable desire for public recognition.
Medium: Television
Program: Take 30
Broadcast Date: Sept. 19, 1977
Guest(s): Henry Morgentaler
Interviewer: Hana Gartner
Duration: 2:45

Last updated: April 16, 2012

Page consulted on December 5, 2013

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