Twenty-five years ago today, in the landmark R. v. Morgentaler case the Supreme Court of Canada, recognised a woman's right to choose. It struck down this country’s abortion law because it infringed on a woman’s right to “life, liberty and security of the person.”
Today we recognise Dr. Henry Morgentaler for his commitment to protecting a woman’s right to choose. Thanks to Dr. Morgentaler’s fight, joined by many women and their allies, a generation of Canadian women have had access to reproductive choice.
We acknowledge the health care professionals and service providers who still take risks to perform abortions. We stand in solidarity with advocates and women fighting to support women’s reproductive rights.
Today, 25 years later, the vast majority of Canadians oppose banning abortions. This is why the Conservative government has tried to be covert in its attempts to roll back a woman's right to choose. Despite the prime minister vowing not to re-open the abortion debate, backbench Conservative MPs, with the support of high-profile ministers have done just that.
We must remain vigilant. Challenges to accessing abortion care in Canada still exist. Although abortion is considered a safe, legal and insured service, access varies across the country and some women are still denied equal access to abortion care.
The right to reproductive choice is a critical element of women having control over their own destiny. This is fundamental to the struggle for the ultimate goal, the full equality of women in Canada and around the world.
Today, as we celebrate this important anniversary we must commit ourselves to ensuring that future generations of Canadian women enjoy the right to reproductive choice.