Canada Sees 1,000 Pro-Life People Protest Abortionist’s Morgentaler’s Award

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 10, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Canada Sees 1,000 Pro-Life People Protest Abortionist’s Morgentaler’s Award

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 10
, 2008

Ottawa, Canada ( — More than 1,000 pro-life advocates turned out for a massive protest in front of the Governor General’s residence to object to the Order of Canada award going to abortion practitioner Henry Morgentaler. Opposition to the honor from pro-life advocates has been overwhelming since its announcement last week.

Angelina Steens addressed the crowd, speaking on behalf of leading pro-life group Campaign Life Coalition and Silent No More, an organization for the tens of thousands of women who regret their abortions.

"The very advisory council that recommended Henry Morgentaler receive the award, also evaluates requests for its revocation," she explained. "That is unacceptable; this obvious conflict of interest must change."

She added that giving the highest Canadian award to an individual who,
for 40 years, has earned his living — not by saving babies, but by aborting
them — causes national division.

"Henry Morgentaler has not consoled the thousands of Canadian mothers and fathers who are still suffering… and he is unrepentant," she said.

If the Governor General does not appoint an independent council to handle the revocation process, she said pro-life advocates may ask the Prime Minister and members of parliament to ensure a change takes place.

Campaign Life Coalition national coordinator Mary Ellen Douglas told on Wednesday that Morgentaler should not have been eligible for the award because he is a convicted criminal, having done jail time in Quebec for doing illegal abortions.

"The award has been given to many people who should not have received it, but nobody more than Morgentaler," she said.

Meanwhile, another recipient of the Order of Canada plans to return the prestigious medal in protest.

Gilbert Finn, who served as New Brunswick’s lieutenant-governor from 1987 to 1994, says his medal is worthless now that an abortion practitioner has received one.

Finn informed the Governor General and prime minister of his decision last week, according to a Canadian Press report. He says he’s waiting to hear whether Morgentaler is officially admitted to the Order before returning his insignia of the order.

On the heels of the controversial appointment, a new Ipsos Reid poll conducted for the CanWest News Service found two-thirds of Canadians are supportive.

About 65 percent of those polled favor Morgentaler receiving the prestigious medal, which pro-life advocates have been returning saying it is now tainted.

Some 27 percent say they strongly support the honor while another 37 percent somewhat support it.

Yesterday, officials with the Madonna House returned the medal that Catherine Doherty, founder of the charity and who is under study for sainthood in the Catholic Church, received.

Doherty founded the Ontario charity in 1947, received the order in 1976 and died in 1985.

Fr. David May, a Madonna House director, said in a press release that "She exemplified what the Order of Canada should be about: an individual committed to strengthening the nation by her contribution to the vulnerable and the marginalized."

"It is only after much prayer and consultation with our community, as well as with heavy hearts, that we are undertaking this action," he added.

The Governor General’s web site states that Morgentaler was made a member of the Order of Canada 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."

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.

Despite an overwhelming objection to the award from 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.

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