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Canadian Doctor Who Performs Abortions Is Shot

November 09, 1994| The Washington Post

TORONTO — A Vancouver doctor who performs abortions was in serious condition after being shot in the leg Tuesday by an assailant who fired through a window in his home in what police called a planned attack, possibly with an assault rifle.

Vancouver police said gynecologist Garson Romalis suffered a wound to the upper leg. His wife and daughter, also home at the time, were unhurt.

The Romalis house has been picketed by anti-abortion groups in the past, police and neighbors said. Police said they did not have a suspect.

The shooting was by far the most violent anti-abortion incident in Canada, a country where crimes of violence involving firearms are rare. The only other serious abortion-related crime was the destruction by firebomb of an abortion clinic in Toronto in 1992. No one was arrested in that case.

Abortion has been legal in Canada since 1988, and more than 100,000 abortions are performed in Canada each year. Several Canadian provinces have tried to stop doctors from setting up abortion clinics within their borders, but they generally have been defeated in court.

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