TORONTO – Abortion activist Dr. Henry Morgentaler has died at the age of 90. Here are a few key dates in his life and career.
— 1923: Henry Morgentaler is born in the Polish city of Lodz.
— 1939: Lodz is invaded by Nazi Germany. Morgentaler and his family are relocated to a Jewish ghetto.
— 1944: Morgentaler, his mother and brother are shipped to the Auschwitz concentration camp after the death of the family patriarch. Morgentaler and his brother are eventually moved to Dachau, where they remain until 1945.
— 1950: Morgentaler emigrates to Canada, settles in Montreal and begins his medical studies.
— 1955: Morgentaler establishes a family practice where he offers contraceptive services, but not abortions.
— 1967: Morgentaler enters the abortion debate as a federal committee considers changes to the abortion law.
— 1969: The federal government amends the law to make abortion legal under restricted conditions. Morgentaler opens his first abortion clinic in Montreal and argues the law is too restrictive.
— 1970: Morgentaler is arrested and charged with intent to procure an abortion.
— 1975: Morgentaler serves 10 months in jail after amassing numerous criminal charges and taking his case all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada.
— 1983: Morgentaler opens clinics in Winnipeg and Toronto.
— 1988: Supreme Court strikes down Canada’s abortion law in case brought forward by Morgentaler.
—1992: Morgentaler’s Toronto abortion clinic is destroyed by firebomb. Morgentaler resumes practising abortions two days later at another location.
— 2005: Morgentaler receives honorary doctor of law degree from Western University in London, Ont.
— 2006: Morgentaler stops practising abortions after undergoing heart bypass surgery.
— 2008: Morgentaler is named to the Order of Canada amid backlash from pro-life activists. Some previous recipients return their awards in protest of Morgentaler’s honour.