Dr. Henry Morgantaler (1974)

  • Date / 1974
  • Location / Canada
  • Ratifying Body / World Humanist Congress
  • Status / Archived

The Board of Directors of the International Humanist & Ethical Union which represents member organisations in thirty three countries passed the following resolution in its meeting at Amsterdam on August 8, 1974:

Whereas Dr. Henry Morgentaler, a Montreal physician and member of the board of the International Humanist & Ethical Union was acquitted on a charge of performing an illegal abortion on November 13, 1973 by a twelve member French speaking jury,

And whereas, the Court of Queen’s Bench of the Province of Quebec substituted the verdict of guilty for the verdict of not guilty on April 26, 1974 and sentenced Dr Henry Morgentaler to eighteen months on July 25, 1974 with a term of probation for a period of three years,

And whereas Dr. Henry Morgentaler in addition was not to leave Canada,

And whereas, the International Humanist & Ethical Union has repeatedly expressed its view that women ought to have the right to discontinue an unwanted pregnancy with competent medical assistance,

And whereas, Dr Henry Morgentaler was acting as a conscientious humanist in performing the act for which he was charged,

Therefore: be it resolved that the International Humanist & Ethical Union urges that the sentence passed against Dr. Henry Morgentaler should be remitted by the Canadian Government forthwith.

The International Humanist & Ethical Union is further of the opinion that the law in regards to abortion in Canada deserves to be reconsidered and suitably altered so that the termination of unwanted pregnancies with any competent medical assistance should not be a criminal offence.

IHEU Congress 1974

Suggested academic reference

'Dr. Henry Morgantaler (1974)', Humanists International, World Humanist Congress, 1974

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