Monday, July 14, 2008

Morgentaler gets The Order Of Canada

Amid much controversy Dr. Henry Morgentaler is awarded The Order of Canada. This is the highest civilian honor that is given in this country and Dr. Morgentaler's award has created a firestorm of controversy.

For those who don't know Dr. Morgentaler fought for women to have the right to choose what happens to their body. That included the right to end a pregnancy and in 1969 Dr. Morgentaler, a Montreal doctor, opened the first abortion clinic in Canada. Until Dr. Morgentaler's historic battle many women lost their lives to back door butchers who used dirty instruments in dirty back rooms to have an unwanted pregnancy terminated because it was illegal to have an abortion in Canada. Some women ,in extreme desperation, attempted to abort themselves with coat hangers. Many women died in the process.

Many have come forward to criticize Michaelle Jean, the Governor General of Canada, for awarding this to what they deem "a murderer". Not the least of these critics is the Catholic church. In particular Father Lucien Larre, himself a winner of the Order of Canada, has sent his back. Father Larre claims that people find Dr. Morgentaler's stand on abortion repugnant and that Dr. Morgentaler's pro abortion stand has divided the country and not unified it which he feels is important.

It strikes me that the Catholic church is very hypocritical. Given the fact that the church has been hit with numerous lawsuits over it's treatment of children in residential schools in Canada as well as having numerous priest charged with sexual assault of children in their parishes one would think they would heed the words "people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones". Father Larre should take particular notice of this since in 1989 he was found guilty of two counts of physically abusing children at the Bosco Youth Centres in Saskatchewan that he helped found.

I am not a pro-abortionist, but I do think that women should have the right to choose what to do with their own bodies and this should be a matter between themselves, their doctors and their God. It really is not the business of the Catholic church or Father Larre.


  1. Thanks for the history lesson, Catz.
    Great post! I agree about the Church.
    I could not have an abortion, but I believe that women should have a right to choose. I think the anti-choice people are trying to force their religious beliefs on others.

  2. I thought he was an odd choice, still do, to be honest, and I say that as a pro choice person.

    But yeah, the catholic church doesn't really have much to stand on here.

    And returning their awards, that's more disrespectful to me then giving it to Morgentaler.

  3. Anonymous6:56 PM

    I am pro-choice too. If it wasn't for you I would have no idea what's going on with my friends in the North! What is the "Order of Canada" on par with here in America? (If anything...)

  4. Lorelei - I am not sure what it is equal to in the US. But on the website it lists the following as criteria for receiving the order

    The Order of Canada is the centrepiece of Canada’s honours system and recognizes a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. The Order recognizes people in all sectors of Canadian society. Their contributions are varied, yet they have all enriched the lives of others and made a difference to this country. The Order of Canada’s motto is DESIDERANTES MELIOREM PATRIAM (They desire a better country).

  5. Anonymous4:46 AM

    Canada is to be congratulated for taking a bold stand. I hope this is the first of many.

    It is a delight to see a government acting thoughtfully and rationally and paying no heed to the hysterical rantings of the god-botherers.

  6. I applaud Canada too. I love reading my Canadian friends posts.
    The Catholic Church....please.Fix your own house first.