Thursday, May 24, 2007
NAF Communications Department
Saporta: Canadian women owe Dr. Morgentaler a tremendous debt of gratitude for standing up for their lives and health at great personal sacrifice and risk.
Victoria, BC/Washington, DC - The National Abortion Federation (NAF) presented a special award to Dr. Henry Morgentaler during NAF's Annual Meeting held last month in Boston.
"Canadian women owe Dr. Morgentaler a tremendous debt of gratitude for standing up for their lives and health at great personal sacrifice and risk," said Vicki Saporta, President and CEO of the National Abortion Federation when presenting the award to Dr. Morgentaler. "He is a legend, a hero, and a national treasure in both our countries."
Dr. Morgentaler challenged the Canadian criminal code by founding the first freestanding abortion clinic in Canada. He was tried and jailed for providing safe abortion care to women. His challenges eventually led to the 1988 landmark Supreme Court of Canada decision that gave women the right to obtain abortion care. When Canada's top Charter experts compiled a list of the most important and influential Charter cases, not surprisingly R. v. Morgentaler was included.
Since then, Dr. Morgentaler has worked to increase women's access to quality abortion care in Canada. He has survived numerous threats on his life, a clinic bombing, and constant protests.
Dr. Morgentaler has been the recipient of numerous awards over the years, including NAF's highest honour, the Christopher Tietze Humanitarian Award. The Tietze Award honours significant, lifetime contributions in the field of abortion care or policy.
"Dr. Morgentaler's determination and tireless efforts on behalf of Canadian women have never ceased. He has changed the legal landscape in Canada. And he continues to provide leadership in current struggles to ensure that women have access to publicly funded abortion care," said Saporta.
The National Abortion Federation (NAF) is the professional association of abortion providers in Canada and the United States. Our mission is to ensure safe, legal, and accessible abortion care to promote health and justice for women. Our members include health care professionals at clinics, doctors' offices, and hospitals, who together care for more than half the women in both countries who choose abortion each year. For more information, visit our website at www.prochoice.org.