More Canadians Return Order of Canada After Abortion Practitioner Awarded

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 22, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

More Canadians Return Order of Canada After Abortion Practitioner Awarded

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 22
, 2008

Ottawa, Canada ( — More Canadians are returning their medals from the Order of Canada after learning that infamous abortion practitioner Henry Morgentaler received one. Now, the family of a deceased Saskatchewan man is returning his medal to protest Morgentaler’s award.

Alphonse Gerwing died of liver cancer last year and Steve Buttinger, his nephew, says Gerwing would not have wanted to be associated with the abortion practitioner.

"We know he would want to return this medal. All of us believe that," he told the Canwest News Service. "I know he didn’t approve of Henry Morgentaler. (Gerwing) stood for affirming life."

Gerwing received a medal in 1989 for his work with the children and families of slums in Brazil and he organized events and fundraisers across Canada to raise money to help the impoverished of the South American nation.

Buttinger said naming Morgentaler as a recipient of the medal "diminished" how special the award is for everyone else who has received it.

He said all of Gerwing’s family and the members of the board of the foundation that bears his name all agreed to return the medal on his behalf.

"We want people to know this medal was returned," Buttinger told Canwest.

Earlier this month, more than 1,000 people turned out for a massive protest in front of the Governor General’s residence to object to the Order of Canada award going to Morgentaler.

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."

Other recipients have returned their medals, including Gilbert Finn, who served as New Brunswick’s lieutenant-governor from 1987 to 1994. He says his medal is worthless now that an abortion practitioner has received one.

And 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.

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.



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