Legal Chronology

DATE
27 June 1969 Bill C-150 (the existing abortion law) received Royal Assent after its adoption by the House of Commons on 14 May 1969 and by the Senate on 12 June 1969.
25 September 1975 The government appointed a sociologist, a doctor and a jurist “to conduct a study to determine whether the procedure provided in the Criminal Code for obtaining therapeutic abortions was operating equitably across Canada.” Under these terms of reference, the Badgley Committee, named after its Chairman, was asked only “to make findings on the operation of this law rather than recommendations on the underlying policy.”
9 February 1977 The Badgley Committee tabled its report which concluded that the abortion law was not being applied equitably across Canada. However, the Committee added that it was not so much the law that had led to the inequities as the attitude of Canadians toward this delicate subject.
2 December 1981 The final draft of the constitutional Resolution for a Joint Address to Her Majesty on the Constitution of Canada was passed in the House of Commons. Several members voted against the Resolution on the ground that the Charter failed expressly to guarantee the right to life of the fetus.
17 April 1982 The Constitution Act, 1982 received Royal Assent.
8 November 1984 A Toronto jury acquitted Dr. Morgentaler and co-accused on charges of conspiracy to procure a miscarriage.   1 October 1985 The Ontario Court of Appeal set aside the jury acquittal of Dr. Morgentaler and co-accused on the Toronto charges and ordered a new trial.
30 April 1987 In the case of Borowski v. Attorney General of Canada , the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal ruled that the fetus is not covered under sections 7 and 15 of the Charter.
28 January 1988 The Supreme Court of Canada in a 5 to 2 majority judgment ruled in the Morgentaler case that section 251 of the Criminal Code contravened the rights of pregnant women under the Charter and was therefore of no force or effect.
28 July 1988 After a two-day debate, the House of Commons voted down six proposals on abortion, including the government motion.
03-04 October 1988 The case of Borowski , v. Attorney General of Canada was argued in the Supreme Court of Canada. Judgment was reserved.
9 March 1989 The Supreme Court of Canada rendered its judgment in Borowski v. Attorney General of Canada, finding unanimously that there is no longer an issue on which to rule as the previous abortion law had been found unconstitutional in Morgentaler .
3 July 1989 The United States Supreme Court delivered its judgment in Webster , upholding the right of Missouri to ban abortions in public hospitals or by public employees, and to require viability tests on fetuses over 20 weeks.
4 July 1989 Ontario Supreme Court Judge John O’Driscoll granted an injunction preventing Barbara Dodd from having an abortion.
6 July 1989 A Winnipeg court refused a man a similar injunction against his pregnant girlfriend
7 July 1989 Jean-Guy Tremblay was granted a temporary injunction prohibiting Chantal Daigle from proceeding with an abortion.
11 July 1989 Mr. Justice Gibson Gray of the Ontario Supreme Court overturned the injunction against Ms. Dodd on the grounds that she was not properly notified.
17 July 1989 Mr. Justice Jacques Viens of the Quebec Superior Court granted a permanent injunction preventing Ms. Daigle from obtaining an abortion, deciding that the fetus is protected under the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.
20 July 1989 Five judges of the Quebec Court of Appeal heard Ms. Daigle’s appeal
26 July 1989 In a 3-2 decision the Quebec Court of Appeal upheld the injunction against Ms. Daigle, relying heavily on Quebec’s Civil Code.
1 August 1989 Five judges of the Supreme Court of Canada, in an unusual summer sitting, granted Ms. Daigle leave to appeal.
8 August 1989 The full bench of the Supreme Court heard the Daigle appeal. Although informed by Ms. Daigle’s lawyer that he had just learned that his client had already had an abortion, the court continued to hear the arguments. They delivered an unanimous decision that the injunction was set aside, with reasons to follow.

From: Current Issue Review 80-9E (pages 21,22,23) ABORTION: LEGAL ASPECTS Monique Hebert Law and Government Division 18 March 1980 Revised 18 September 1989 Library of Parliament Research Branch Rights and freedoms was introduced during the last Parliament. This motion, however, was defeated by a vote of 89 to 62 on 2 June 1987.

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