Infamous Abortion Practitioner Henry Morgentaler Will Become Member of Order of Canada

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 3, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Infamous Abortion Practitioner Henry Morgentaler Will Become Member of Order of Canada

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 3
, 2008

Ottawa, Canada ( — TInfamous abortion practitioner Henry Morgentaler was named a member of the Order of Canada on Tuesday and the award immediately came under fire from pro-life groups. Morgentaler founded the first abortion center in Montreal in 1968. He currently operates six abortion facilities in Canada and has fought to make Canadians pay for abortions with their tax dollars.

The governor general’s web site said Morgentaler will be named at a later date as a member of the Order of Canada because of his so-called work on behalf of health care and humanitarian causes.

"For his commitment to increased health care options for women, his determined efforts to influence Canadian public policy and his leadership in humanist and civil liberties organizations," the governor general’s site said.

Despite an overwhelming objection to the award fro the pro-life community, Morgentaler says he deserves it.

"The work I’ve done over the years and the sacrifices and the sentence of imprisonment that I have suffered, I think that finally now the government has recognized my contribution to Canadian women and I am very proud of it," the eighty-five year old Morgentaler told a news conference in Toronto.

Immediately following the news, a slew of statements and comments from pro-life advocates came to condemning the award.

"Canada’s highest honor has been debased … We are all diminished," Archbishop Thomas Collins said in a statement.

"Henry Morgentaler is responsible for the most grievous destruction of the most vulnerable in our country … the bestowal of this is a dishonorable act and it must be revoked," he added.

Morgentaler told the CanWest News Service that he wasn’t surprised by the Catholic opposition and said he thought it would be more “violent.”

"I’m surprised it is not more violent than it is," he said. "They are adamantly opposed to the right to safe abortion."

Meanwhile, Conservative MP Andrew Scheer issued a statement Tuesday saying he was disturbed by the award.

"I am greatly disappointed that Canada’s highest civilian honor has been politicized and debased by this appointment as Henry Morgentaler has been the central figure in a very divisive and emotional debate,” Scheer said.

"Far from uniting Canadians with feelings of pride and appreciation, there will be a significant portion of the population who will be outraged and disgusted by this decision,” he added.

Scheer said he encourages all pro-life advocates in Canada to contact the serving Governor General, presently Michaëlle Jean, and express opposition to the award.

Some pro-life advocates are concerned that Prime Minister Stephen Harper may have been involved in the decision but spokesman Dimitri Soudas said that’s not the case.

"The Conservative government is not involved in either deliberations or decisions with respect to which individuals are appointed to the Order of Canada," Soudas told the Canadian Press.

"Rideau Hall makes these appointments based on the recommendations of the Advisory Council for the Order which is chaired by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada,” he added.

The Order of Canada is the highest civilian honor within the Canadian system of honors, with membership awarded to those who exemplify the order’s Latin motto, taken from Hebrews 11:16, meaning "they desire a better country."

Created in 1967, the order was established to recognize the lifetime contributions made by Canadians who made a major difference to Canada.

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