LEAF is extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Dr. Henry Morgentaler whose steadfast courage to ensure the protection of women’s reproductive rights, over the past four decades, has profoundly advanced the lives of women and girls across Canada.

Dr. Morgentaler, a family physician from Montreal, and a Polish survivor of the Nazi concentration camps, was steadfast in his advocacy to change Canada’s abortion law, to ensure women had the basic right to access safe abortions.

On January 28, 1988, The Supreme Court of Canada struck down the criminalization of abortion as a violation of a woman’s right to security of the person under section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1988. The “Morgentaler decision” today stands as one of Canada’s strongest legal precedents for the advancement of reproductive rights for women.

Although abortion is a safe, legal, insured and funded service under the Canada Health Act, access to abortion services still varies greatly across Canada. Many women in Canada still do not have full access to fully exercise their reproductive health and freedom and their fundamental human rights.

LEAF honours the legacy of Dr. Henry Morgentaler and will continue to strive to ensure women have full control over their reproductive lives and to improve women’s access to safe abortion services across Canada.

Our deepest condolences,

Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF)