05/29/2013 03:52 EDT | Updated 07/29/2013 05:12 EDT

Abortion activist Henry Morgentaler 'man of great courage': Ontario premier

TORONTO - Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne describes Dr. Henry Morgentaler, who died Wednesday in Toronto at age 90, as "a man of great courage, conviction and personal bravery."

Wynne says women in Ontario and across Canada have the right to control their reproductive choices, largely due to Morgentaler's efforts.

She adds that Morgentaler's contributions to a fair society have been felt around the globe, and that her thoughts are with his friends and family.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is remembering Morgentaler as a crusader for women's rights in Canada, and says all Canadians owe Morgentaler a debt of gratitude.

Horwath says the New Democrats always supported Morgentaler's groundbreaking work on abortion rights.

Morgentaler was instrumental in helping to overturn Canada's abortion law 25 years ago, and said his five-year stay in the Nazi concentration camps of Auschwitz and Dachau prepared him for his showdown with Canada's legal system over abortion rights.

Toronto MP Olivia Chow took to Twitter to thank Morgentaler "for giving Canadian women a right to choose."

"We will miss your passion for justice," Chow tweeted.