Protests Will Greet Canadian Abortion Practitioner’s Honorary Degree

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 31, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Protests Will Greet Canadian Abortion Practitioner’s Honorary Degree Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 31, 2005

Toronto, Canada ( — Protesters will be on hand when Canadian abortion practitioner Henry Morgentaler receives an honorary degree from a Canadian university. Both sides of the abortion debate will be stationed outside Alumni Hall when the University of Western Ontario awards the degree.

Pro-life groups have been speaking out against the planned honor for weeks after news of the degree first came to light. They planned a large protest and now abortion advocates say they will show up as well to support their hero.

Both sides agree on only one thing concerning the June 16th protest — the need for safety.

"I can’t help but be a little wary of safety issues," said Julia Kerr, co-ordinator of the Women’s Issues Network, a pro-abortion group.

Nikki Cooke, a local pro-life advocate, told the London Free Press that the two competing protests at the event "does increase concerns about safety."

Cooke said safety issues first came into play two weeks ago when a motorist in a passing vehicle at another related rally hit her husband in the head with a can.

Kerr said her group will have a celebratory event with music and food and good times.

"I was really disheartened there hadn’t been more active celebration. I think it’s very important the pro-choice faction is very visible," she told the Free Press.

Meanwhile, pro-life groups have held a series of rallies opposing UWO’s actions and students at a Catholic grade school wore black armbands at a function held at UWO to protest the degree.

In a written statement, the university said it was conferring an honorary Doctor of Laws degree upon Morgentaler, “a humanist leader who has promoted the idea that people have a right to control their own sexuality and reproduction, without interference by the state.”

Morgentaler founded the first abortion center in Montreal in 1968. He currently operates six abortion facilities in Canada and has fought numerous battles to make Canadians pay for abortions with their tax dollars.

Last year, Morgentaler made headlines by distributing a press statement saying the decline in Canada’s violent crime statistics since 1991 “confirms again my theory that access to abortion” is responsible for the favorable numbers.

However, a number of scholars contradict Morgentaler’s view, noting that child abuse has actually escalated since Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing abortion.

Researchers Theresa Karminski Burke and David C. Reardon of the Elliot Institute, which studies the after-effects of abortion, have said, “Ignoring the obvious illogic of this argument–which suggests that killing children is better than beating them — there is not a single scientific study that supports this theory.”

There are more than 100,000 abortions annually in Canada.

Those wishing to register their complaints with the university about Morgentaler’s honorary degree can write to the University of Western Ontario; 1151 Richmond Street; Suite 2; London; Ontario, Canada; N6A 5B8 or by calling 519-661-2111.