Pro-choice vs. pro-life : abortion and the courts in Canada


    • Morton, F. L. (Frederick Lee)


Pro-choice vs. pro-life : abortion and the courts in Canada

F. L. Morton

University of Oklahoma Press, c1992

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This history aims to provide an impartial view of one of the most controversial issues as it tells how the abortion debate changed the legal and political systems of Canada. "Pro-Choice vs. Pro-Life" describes the three decades of battles waged inside and outside the courtroom by Dr. Henry Morgentaler and Joe Borowski, respectively Canada's most identifiable pro-choice and pro-life activists. Morgentaler, a Montreal physician and survivor of the Nazi death camps, engaged in 20 years of civil disobedience to change Canada's abortion policy. Borowski, from the Prairie Provinces, sacrificed his career as a union organizer and New Democratic Party politician to fight against Canada's abortion law. Both men acted on conscience. Both broke the law and went to jail. Both men went to the Supreme Court of Canada, not once but twice. Remarkably, both have described this book as giving a fair picture of the abortion debate in Canada. This abortion story makes clear just how much the 1982 Canadian Charter of Rights has changed the practice of politics. Invoking the charter, interest groups have used litigation as a political tactic and thrust the courts onto the political stage. The Morgentaler-Borowski confrontations touched on many of the tensions and paradoxes of democracy.

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