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Abortion law ruled unconstitutional

The Story

On Jan. 28, 1988, Henry Morgentaler wins his long fight. The Supreme Court of Canada strikes down Canada's abortion law as unconstitutional. The law is found to violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms because it infringes upon a woman's right to "life, liberty and security of person."

Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: Jan. 28, 1988
Guests: Kathleen Lahey, Laura MacArthur, Henry Morgentaler
Host: Knowlton Nash
Reporter: Ian Hanomansing
Duration: 2:58

Did You know?

• In March 1989 the Supreme Court of Canada refused to decide on a claim by Joe Borowski that fetuses have a constitutionally guaranteed right to life. Since the abortion law had already been struck down in 1988, his case was found to be moot.

• In 1990 the government tried to bring back some form of criminal control over abortion but Bill C-43 was defeated narrowly in the Senate.


Dr. Henry Morgentaler: Fighting Canada's Abortion Laws more