Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Feminist and Pro-Abort Activist Judy Rebick Reflects on Morgentaler at 20

The Court.ca sought out contributions from some of those involved in the landmark judgment twenty years ago in R. v. Morgentaler. Judy Rebick shared her delightful memories.

In Morgentaler at 20: An Activist reflects, Rebick describes how the ruling was received by the Canadian women’s movement.

I’ll never forget January 28, 1988, the day the Supreme Court struck down the abortion law. It was freezing cold. A group of pro-choice activists were standing in front of the Morgentaler clinic along with a mob of media waiting to hear the news from our comrades in Ottawa.


A reporter called me aside and said she had just heard on her radio that the Supreme Court had struck down the law on the grounds that it interfered with women’s right to security of the person. I didn’t believe her.


A decision based on the Charter guarantee of security of the person was too much to hope for. After all, the major argument of the pro-choice movement was that a woman had the right to control her own body.


It was a profound and incredibly long-lasting victory that for us was of equal significance to the winning of the right to vote a couple of generations before. In essence, the highest court of the land said that the abortion law violated a woman’s right to control her own body free from state interference.

The entire post is here.

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At 11:42 PM, Blogger SUZANNE said...

It's not the women's movement. It's the feminist movement!

Sorry-- but I hate it when "feminist" and "women" are presented as synonymous!

At 10:52 AM, Blogger ELA said...

You are right Suzanne and thanks for the correction. I was carelessly quoting the intro to Rebick's report.


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