The Backlash

There are many forms of backlash that the people fighting for reproductive rights faced. The most common would be protesting and harassing women as they try to enter abortion clinics, but assaults and threats also happened.

Two Attempted Murders on Dr. Garson Romalis’ Life
Dr. Garson Romalis is a friend of Dr. Morgentaler and started performing abortions in 1972. His life was threatened many times, and he was shot on November 8th, 1994. This is Dr. Romalis’ description of what happened to him in a speech he gave at the University of Toronto Law School Symposium to mark the 20th anniversary of the Canadian Supreme Court decision in R v Morgentaler:

I had a very severe gunshot wound to my left thigh. My thigh bone was fractured, large blood vessels severed, and a large amount of my thigh muscles destroyed. I almost died several times from blood loss and multiple other complications. After about two years of physical and emotional rehabilitation, with a great deal of support from my family and the medical community, I was able to resume work on a part-time basis. I was no longer able to deliver babies or perform major gynecological surgery. I had to take security measures, but I continued to work as a gynecologist, including providing abortion services. My life had changed, but my views on choice remained unchanged, and I was continuing to enjoy practicing medicine. I told people that I was shot in the thigh, not in my sense of humor. (Romalis)

He was also stabbed by a young man in July 2000. He said his life was forever changed by the event but he felt that he was helping women and saving lives by performing abortions, and continued to perform them even after these two attempts on his life.

Attempts on Dr. Morgentaler’s Life
There have been attempts on Dr. Morgentaler life and this CBC news coverage from 1983 shows a man’s attempt at attacking Dr. Morgentaler with garden sheers. Author and activist Judy Rebick actually blocks the man from Dr. Morgentaler.
Dr. Morgentaler video – CBC News Toronto

“New” Abortion Caravan
This is modern form of backlash. It is a group of anti-choice people who call themselves the New Abortion Caravan. Their main tactic is to show pictures of aborted fetus as a way to scare women out of having abortions. I find this group repulsive. I think that women who do not support abortion should not get one, and not impose their “morals” onto other women.

Anti Choice Protesters Outside a Clinic
Here is a video of a man defending his wife’s abortion against women who stood outside the clinic and yelled at her. His wife needed an abortion to prevent her from delivery a still-born baby. He makes some valid points that hese protesters should learn. He says they should be helping children; I agree if they believe unwanted children should be born then they should be spending their time helping under privilaged children or volunteering at an orphange.


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