The Order of Canada recognizes a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the country. The motto inscribed on the medal is : He desired a better country. Certainly Morgentaler risked his life and his reputation on a cause no one else gave a damn about, and he is a hero to millions of Canadian women.
"The divisive debate about abortion rights in Canada is poised to erupt once again as Henry Morgentaler, the country's best-known abortion-rights crusader, is expected to be named to the Order of Canada.
Even before the official announcement, Dr. Morgentaler's name attached to the highest honour in the land ignited a firestorm of controversy yesterday, with online blogs, people opposed to abortion and pro-choice supporters wading into the Order of Canada committee's decision."
"Highest honour in the land." Let the meddling anti-choice howling and frothing and bedwetting begin.
In R.v.Morgentaler, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled the jurisdiction of the state over women's bodies was unconstitutional.
Justice Bertha Wilson wrote :
"The decision whether to terminate a pregnancy is essentially a moral decision, a matter of conscience. I do not think there is or can be any dispute about that. The question is: whose conscience? Is the conscience of the woman to be paramount or the conscience of the state? I believe, for the reasons I gave in discussing the right to liberty, that in a free and democratic society it must be the conscience of the individual."