Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Happy Canada Day, Dr. Henry Morgentaler, OC

"Every Mother a willing Mother, every Child a wanted Child."

Looks like Canadian hero Dr. Henry Morgentaler is going to receive the Order of Canada on Canada Day in the year of the 20th anniversary of reproductive choice in Canada.

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.

G&M : Outrage brews as Ottawa set to honour Morgentaler.

"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."

With thanks on Canada Day to the Governor General, Her Excellency Michaƫlle Jean , Chief Justice of Canada Beverley McLachlin, and the Order of Canada Advisory Panel.


West End Bob said...

You beat the CBC to this story by about 7 hours, Alison.

You're definitely on the case, just like Kojak . . . .

Paul said...

Agreed - congrats to the Dr. And congrats to the panel and the GG who have the courage to recognize his critical contributions.

Anonymous said...

So how did you get this story first?

Beijing York said...

This is such excellent news and so long overdue.

However, even though the honour is late the timing is brilliant. I for one think that our position of women's reproductive rights is one of the best things about Canada. So this announcement is very well timed.

Alison said...

"I for one think that our position of women's reproductive rights is one of the best things about Canada."

Me too. Emphatically.

Web & Anon : Actually Bourque was first I think - at least that's where I saw a link to Lifeshite who posted on this days ago. Plus Dr. M's spokesperson's response was not a solid no, so I guessed.

Paul : Tricky for GG, no?

Paul said...

And tricky for Justice McLachlin too, who apparently waived the unanimity protocol.

Paul said...

er, I mean "Chief Justice".

Osumashi Kinyobe said...

Make no mistake- Canada has no abortion law. Morgentaler does not cure cancer, deliver babies or resolve any social issues. He kills for a living and has made quite a financial success of it. If this is what counts for the Order of Canada, then the award is meaningless.

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