On December 8th, Manitoba Attorney General Roland Penner, who openly admits that he completely supports the pro-abortion position, announced that he was withdrawing the charge of conspiracy of performing an illegal abortion against Morgentaler and was placing a new charge of performing an illegal abortion against him.
The significance of this move is enormous. There was ample proof that Morgentaler had in fact “conspired” or agreed to establish an illegal abortion clinic in Winnipeg. The chances of a conviction on this charge were excellent. On the other hand, however, at the time the illegal abortion was being performed in Winnipeg, Morgentaler was safely behind the Quebec border in Montreal, and there is no way that he can be found guilty of performing an illegal abortion in Winnipeg, when he was not even in the province at the time the alleged offence occurred. In addition, a conviction for procuring an abortion leaves open the possibility of Morgentaler’s staff, i.e. Dr. Robert Scott and nurse Lynn Crocker, who also, at the same time as Morgentaler, had their charges changed from conspiracy to performing an illegal abortion, to argue the defence of “necessity”, which will certainly complicate the case for the prosecution.
Clearly, Morgentaler has been let off and there will be no conviction against him in Manitoba and the chances of conviction against his staff have been greatly decreased.
The significance of this is that Roland Penner and his NDP government (which has a policy of free-standing abortion clinics), is paving the way to establish clinics in the province of Manitoba, on the grounds that they could not “get a conviction”.
Penner’s action in changing the charges was an abuse of power and an interference in the course of justice, in order to promote his own personal views, and that of his government, on abortion. He is unfit to remain in office.