Dr. Henry Morgentaler, who led the abortion movement in Canada, has died at age 90.
Carolyn Egan, with the Ontario Coalition of Abortion Clinics, said she spoke with members of Morgentaler's family, who told her he died early Wednesday morning, surrounded by family, and that it was a peaceful death at his Toronto home.
Morgentaler emerged in 1969 as one of Canada's most controversial figures when he broke the law at the time, and opened the country's first abortion clinic in Montreal.
Over the next two decades, he would be heralded as a hero by some, and called a murderer by others as he fought to change Canada's abortion laws.
Morgentaler, who was born in Lodz, Poland, and came to Canada after the Second World War, emerged in 1967 as an advocate for the right of women to have abortion on demand — a polarizing issue in Canada. His abortion clinic in Montreal was followed by more clinics across the country.
"His work changed the legal landscape in Canada, and eventually led to the 1988 landmark Supreme Court of Canada decision that gave women the right to obtain abortion care," said Vicki Saporta, president of the National Abortion Federation.
"Dr. Morgentaler was a legend, a hero, and a national treasure in both our countries, and we will miss him dearly."
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
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