Also in this week's issue: a new poll shows the E.R. is Canadian
healthcare's darkest spot.
TORONTO, July 10 /CNW/ - When it comes to abortion, Canada is literally a
lawless society: the only country in the developed world that does not
regulate the practice in any way. An entire generation has grown up since the
Supreme Court's January 1988 ruling in Regina v. Morgentaler. Memories grow
dim, and myths abound. So it will no doubt come as a shock to many to learn,
not only that Canada has no abortion law to this day, but that the issue was
never actually decided - by anyone. That's not what the Court intended. It's
not what Members of Parliament voted for. It just... happened.
Henry Morgentaler's appointment to the Order of Canada, an honour
bestowed on behalf of all of the people of Canada, has caused a furor. Those
who criticize the appointment do so because in honouring him, we are honouring
abortion, normalizing it, stamping it with a seal of approval. Or rather not
abortion, as such, but the legal void that surrounds it, which Morgentaler did
so much to bring about: the extraordinary fact that, 20 years after the
Supreme Court ruling that bears his name, this country still has no abortion
law of any kind.
Over the last 20 years, a strange silence has fallen over the issue of
abortion. And yet, there are good reasons to want an abortion law, reasons
that even a pro-choicer might support. Maclean's national editor, Andrew
Coyne, asks: Is "settling" for a non-decision any way for a democracy to
The "darkest spot" in the Canadian healthcare system
For once, it's not all bad news. A new study from Angus Reid strategies
suggests that Canadians are actually pretty happy with the care they're
receiving; in fact, the system's heaviest users are among the most satisfied.
Yet, the "darkest spot" in Canadian health care is the emergency room.
Overcrowded and often understaffed, they remain unpopular with just about
everybody; 43 per cent of Canadians were unhappy with their last visit.
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For further information: Elyse Lalonde, (416) 764-4125,