Judy Rebick was the spokesperson for the Morgentaler Clinic when it first opened in Toronto and later a key spokesperson for the Ontario Coalition for Abortion Clinics
Monday, January 28 is the anniversary of the deepest and most important victory the women's movement in Canada has ever had. After almost 20 years of struggle, beginning with the Abortion Caravan in 1970, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the abortion law in a landmark decision citing women's right to privacy -- in effect women's rights to control their own bodies.
It's not the first time feminists have been told to "shut the fuck up." If we had listened women would still be in the kitchen
Nancy Ruth is a great pro-choice supporter but she is also a Conservative Senator. Her advice to feminist leaders to "shut the fuck up about abortion" so as not to threaten Harper's initiative on maternal health is no doubt her honest opinion about how best to advance women's rights under this profoundly anti-feminist, anti-choice government, but she is very very wrong.
With abortion back on the front pages, I am reproducing here a tribute from legendary feminist columnist Michele Landsberg to a hero of the pro-choice movement Norma Scarborough. It was delivered at a recent memorial to Norma, who died last year,
"Our dear friend Norma was the queen of the unexpected, the doyenne of the doubletake. When I first saw her on the television news, in the mid-‘80s, I was astonished by the vision: in defiance of a mob of yelling protesters, mostly male, all looking as thuggish and menacing as Mike Harris, there stood Norma –calm, sturdily mainstream, unflustered, with her crown of glistening white hair, introduced as a mother of five and a grandmother of multitudes. She spoke in cheerfully moderate tones about a woman’s right to reproductive choice, as though it were the most natural and sensible thing in the world, which, of course, it is.
On Sunday June 7 at the corner of Bloor and Spadina in Toronto , there will be a vigil to honour Dr. George Tiller, who was known as the doctor of last resort in the pro-choice community. Dr. Tiller was murdered by a homegrown right-wing terrorist in the U.S. But don't think that anti-choice violence is only a problem in the U.S. Terror is a way that part of the the anti-choice movement has tried to prevent abortion provision for a long time. Below is a column I wrote more ten years ago about the threat facing abortion providers here in Canada. Numerous female columnists have written about the issue in Canada and the US. My column originally appeared on the CBC web site
I dedicated my last book Ten Thousand Roses: The Making of a Feminist Revolution to Norma Scarborough, a fierce and committed pro-choice fighter and an unlikely friend to me. Norma died last week, as she lived, making her own decisions. She had been in paliative care long enough and refused to take any more medication. Her daughter let me know but the day I was supposed to visit and say good-bye I was felled by food poisoning so this will have to be my good bye.