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Abortion rights were Henry Morgentaler’s gift to women: Mallick | Toronto Star

Abortion rights were Henry Morgentaler’s gift to women: Mallick | Toronto Star
[read the entire article online].  Heather Mallick was HAT Humanist of the Year for 2013.

:"..... Many young women don’t know what Henry achieved for them, a fact that he found amusing. It pleased him that they didn’t live in fear. But the anti-choicers — all of whom presumably have a dozen children each, as their religions expect — have brought the U.S. battle against abortion to Canada.
They may be Tea Party types shunned by Stephen Harper, who knows a vote-killing issue when he sees one, but they exist. In the U.S. they are known as “the Army of God.” In Britain they are called “swivel-eyed loons.” Here they are called “rural anti-choice values voters.” O Canada. You are quite pleasant, relatively speaking.
But the anti-choicers do hate Henry Morgentaler, even in death. Henry, a man who truly loved women, was handed a means of helping them that other more easily frightened doctors had slapped away. In the late 1960s, desperate women came to him in Montreal seeking abortions. It seemed Nazi-like to reject them because of a cruel law, knowing they might die, and some did.
Henry, who could have been turned into a handful of ash in Auschwitz, decided he would do something good and useful with his life. He risked all. Arrested repeatedly, he won every case that was heard by a jury but one 1973 acquittal (a jury of 11 men and one woman) was overturned by an appeals court comprising five Catholic judges. A year later, the federal law was changed. Thanks to Henry, new trials can be ordered but jury verdicts cannot be overturned.
That’s just another little gift from Henry, aside from women not dying of rupture and infection in back-alley abortions or forced to call themselves insane in front of a committee of three doctors and beg for an abortion.
I’m trying to figure out how we can sustain his achievement, even in an era of economic decline that is full of hate, where women are often viewed as nothing more than disobedient vaginas that must be managed from the outside by religionists.
I don’t know. How will we find Henry’s courage in ourselves? We have to speak up, write letters to the editor, donate money and above all, vote. We have to show up in our own defence.
Henry is dead. We’re on our own...

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HAT meetings are free and open to members and the public. Call (416) 966-1361 for location information. ___________________________________________________
The Humanist Forum meets Saturday morning 11am-1pm.
The Monthly Meeting, is usually the second Saturday at 1:30pm; specifics should be found on this blog.
The Steering Committee meets the first Wednesday of each month, at 7pm.
The Book Group usually meets on the first Saturday afternoon of the month.