In the spring of 1993, Henry Morgentaler applied to the Supreme Court of PEI to overturn a provincial government policy to pay for abortion only at approved out-of-province hospitals. PEI remains the only province not to allow abortions.

The government challenged his application. Lawyers argued that Morgentaler had no standing before the Court, since he was not himself directly affected.

They also argued that the proper person to bring such charges would be a woman who had been refused payment for her abortion and abortion-related expenses.

The case was argued on October 29. On February 28, Supreme Court Justice David Jenkins said Morgentaler is indeed directly affected by the judicial law.

He observed that other governments have found Morgentaler’s claims valid, and that recently aborted women are most unlikely to come forward. Or perhaps he has had trouble finding anyone who has been at all affected by the policy.

Taking the case to court is perhaps the only way to clarify the situation, he said.

Jenkins ordered the Province to cover Morgentaler’s court costs to date.