On July 5, 1991, the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia ruled in favour of Henry Morgentaler, allowing his Halifax abortuary to continue its destruction. In a four-to-one ruling, the decision stated that “the Medical Services Act targeted the abortionist specifically and therefore infringed upon the federal government’s jurisdiction.”
But Justice Malachi Jones disagreed. He said, “In the absence of federal legislation the province has a legitimate interest in private abortions in doctors’ offices where such a practice is objectionable to the public.”
The government has until September 6 to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. Immediately following the ruling, Anne Derrick, Morgentaler’s radical feminist lawyer, filed for court costs and government funding for all abortions (retroactive to October 1990).
Response from the Health Minister was swift – “We should have the right to decide where procedures are performed and we are standing firm – no government funding!”
Despite these strong words, pro-lifers in Nova Scotia have little to cheer about. On July 18, the Victoria General Hospital proudly announced “women can now get abortions quickly and more comfortably at the V.G.” As well as the addition of soft pastel shades, plants and air conditioning, doctors can now destroy two more pre-born babies a day, bringing the daily death toll to eight. The Health Department had responded to a CARAL (Canadian Abortion Rights League) study which had found the hospital’s clinic to be “unsympathetic, impersonal and unfriendly.” These changes were an effort to” reduce the need of free-standing clinics.”