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VANCOUVER — Recently declassified federal cabinet documents show Canada could have been a very different place for women seeking abortions and the doctors who provide them if then prime minister Brian Mulroney had bent to the wishes of some cabinet heavyweights.

The minutes of cabinet meetings, sealed for 20 years and obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act, open a window on the tensions between ministers who wanted abortion outlawed — indeed punishable by up to 10 years in prison for those who performed the procedure — and those who wanted a far greater latitude on a woman’s right to choose.

In an ironic twist, it was the Senate in 1991, an institution maligned in recent weeks to the point of deafening calls for its demise, that killed the best compromise Parliament could come up with, resulting in the legal vacuum most Canadians have by now accepted...
- by Stanley Stromp, The Canadian Press, Published on Sun Nov 17 2013

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