R v Morgentaler, 21 and counting

21-cakeIt’s been 21 years since women’s freedom in Canada took a giant leap forward with the Supreme Court of Canada decision R. v. Morgentaler, which took reproductive issues out of the hands of the state and put them back where they belong, with women, their families, and their doctors.

Since then, Canada has blazed a trail of reproductive freedom and led the world in being the only country where the government is not allowed to intrude into the wombs of its citizens:

Abortion laws vary widely by country, ranging from Chile, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Malta, and Vatican City, which ban the procedure entirely, to Canada, which places no restrictions on the provision of abortion whatsoever.

“No restrictions on the provision of abortion whatsoever” — should be followed with “by the government”. Rather, restrictions are self-imposed by women and doctors; there’s been no need for the state’s “helpful” intervention, and our 21-year experiment in “lawless” abortion has proven that beyond any shadow of doubt.

They said abortion rates would go up: the abortion rate has been continuously decliningand without regressive legislation.

They said women would go batshit crazy and abort viable late-term fetuses with wreckless abandon right up to the moment before birth: 99.6% of abortions are performed early-term, and the late-term only for medical or health reasons. Not only are women NOT batshit crazy (but thanks for the vote of confidence, fetus fetishists — misogyny much?), but doctors, guided by ethics, won’t perform such proceduresand without regressive legislation.

They said, and continue to say, a lot of rotten gibberish that ultimately has little impact in the real world. Because the evidence is in that the status quo works — 21 years of it.

Here’s to another 21! And thanks again, Dr. M!


14 Responses to “R v Morgentaler, 21 and counting”

  1. 1 Dr. Prole Wednesday, January 28, 2009 at 11:11 am

    Cheers! A toast to women, their doctors, and rationality.

  2. 2 JJ Wednesday, January 28, 2009 at 11:16 am

    Woohoo! Cake and bubbly all around!

  3. 3 Niles Wednesday, January 28, 2009 at 11:17 am

    Is it 20 years or 25 years that’s officially counted as a generation?

    In either case, that’s a generation of Canadian women who grew up (I feel old remembering the tv and newspapers of the years leading up to it) always knowing abortion was a legal option and not knowing anything of the anxiety, depression and overwhelming despair of not having it as a legal option.

    Unless they’re in the exceptions mentioned about being out of province, or in New Brunswick, or deeply rural.

    I can only hope the younguns understand how protected they are now (as opposed to being subjugated to the harmful dictates of the ‘righteous’), and how there are still miles to go, lined with extremists waiting to be given an inch of compliance.

    I don’t think the resistance will ever actually be over. Every generation brings with it new people who rediscover the power that control of others brings. And control of others’ sex drives is the biggest, deepest party game.

  4. 4 fern hill Wednesday, January 28, 2009 at 11:43 am

    I’ll have a glass of that bubbly, too. Yay us!

    Here’s to our daughters and their daughters. Yes, they will need to be vigilant on sneaky shit like C-484, but we are NOT going back to the bad old days.

  5. 5 JJ Wednesday, January 28, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    Niles – Probably closer to 25 years to a generation, but even so, that still means an entire generation of females grew up knowing they had complete reproductive freedom with all the choices that entails. Pretty damn awesome compared to what I grew up with (access limited by the state, medical panels etc.).

    In a way I’m glad they can take it for granted, because it is a right and should be able to be taken for granted. But in another way, I hope they aren’t so complacent that they forget to watch their backs.
    The resistance will never be over — women were 2nd class citizens for so long, there will always be people who want to go back to controlling them, and reproduction is the easiest way.

    But fortunately they are on the wrong side of history.

  6. 6 JJ Wednesday, January 28, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    fern hill – Yes, cheers to those who grew up knowing they had freedom, and here’s hoping they know the cost of freedom (eternal vigilance).

  7. 7 Mike Wednesday, January 28, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    Here here!

    We should be the model for the world.

    Indeed, we should be the model for issues other than abortion. Lots of contentious issues can be handled best by the emergent action and choices of those involved, rather than forced on everyone from the top down.


  8. 8 JJ Wednesday, January 28, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    Mike – Agreed! Abortion is just one issue that would be better left in the hands of the people involved than dictated by some faceless bureaucracy that just puts laws in place as nothing more than a symbolic gesture to appease the hairshirt punishment freaks that walk among us. 8)

  9. 9 J. A. Baker Wednesday, January 28, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    Just more proof that, as Stephen Colbert so aptly put it, “Reality has a liberal bias.” 😆 8)

  10. 10 J. A. Baker Wednesday, January 28, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    Does it say something that the decision in R. v Morgentaler came down on Jackson Pollock’s birthday, or is that just me finding weird coincidences?

  11. 11 JJ Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 7:34 am

    JAB – Probably just a coincidence 😉 though as an artistic anarchist Pollock would no doubt have appreciated the situation.

  12. 12 Concerned Choicer (@ProLifeIsNot) Tuesday, July 5, 2011 at 11:47 am

    You’ve been linked!
    Women making informed decisions without the government treating them like children? I might just die of not-surprise!

  1. 1 Anarchist Canada? « theConverted Trackback on Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 7:18 am
  2. 2 Tough week? « unrepentant old hippie Trackback on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 11:54 am

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