Word on the street is that, barring an unlikely 11th-hour intervention, Dr. Henry Morgentaler, our country’s most famous abortionist, will be inducted into the Order of Canada.The decision, which is to be announced in time for Canada Day, is clearly not driven by popular demand. For example, an online poll by the Globe and Mail, with over 300,000 respondents, went 92% to 8% againstgiving the award to Morgentaler.
Nor, I’ve been told, was the decision a unanimous one, as is normally the case. No doubt we will be hearing much more about this in the next few days — talking points were being circulated among MPs as early as Friday — and perhaps the facts will find their way out in spite of the spin. If and when we have the facts, here are four questions I believe must be addressed:
First, did the Chief Justice of Canada, Beverley McLachlin, who is chair of the awards committee, preside over this decision? And if so, why did she not recuse herself? The award to Morgentaler is not only linked to the subject of abortion — a matter on which Canada has been in legislative limbo for many years — it is a clear endorsement of the practice of abortion. But the constitutionality of some new legislation limiting that practice may yet be raised before her court. If it is, will she then recuse herself?
Second, how successful will the government be in distancing itself from this decision, which (if word on the street is to be trusted) it is preparing to do? The government has two members on the committee, one of which is a deputy minister. Perhaps these members were opposed to the selection of Morgentaler, for whatever reason. But if there was a change of procedure, did they consent to it, knowing what the result would be? (If there was a change, and they did not consent, that makes our first question still more poignant.)
Third, what business has the committee making such a controversial award, when it so gravely affronts a very substantial number of Canadians and, indeed, deeply offends their consciences? Some argue that this “brave” man must not be denied his reward for bringing down an unjust law restricting abortion. But many others argue that the real injustice is that Canada, thanks in large part to Morgentaler and his disciples, has no law at all against cutting up babies in the womb — indeed it is the only “civilized” country without such a law. Does the committee presume to settle this national argument for us? How else are we to read their decision to make the award? And what does that say about the state of democracy in Canada?
Last but not least, how will the living members of the Order of Canada — those, that is, who believe, for whatever reason, that a great wrong is being done here — respond to the situation? Will they return their own medals in protest? How will MPs and, for that matter, the Prime Minister respond? How will the bishops and religious leaders respond? How will the people of Canada respond, those who cannot in good conscience bear the burden of being told that abortion is a “Canadian value”?
I can tell you that I myself am pondering this last question very seriously. Henry Morgentaler’s Canada is not my Canada. I’m with the late Louis-Philippe de Grandpré, sometime justice of the Supreme Court of Canada: “Abortion at any stage of pregnancy is murder, and any attack against the fetus is a crime. To kill a fetus is murder.” (Source)
Douglas Farrow of McGill University wrote the above excellent summation of the scam just perpetrated on us. He brings up two particularly noteworthy points.
“Does the committee“, he asks, “presume to settle this national argument for us? How else are we to read their decision to make the award? And what does that say about the state of democracy in Canada?” Indeed, that is a very insightful observation. These appointed star chamber functionaries are supposed to rubber stamp genuinely heroic Canadians who represent ALL of Canada. Instead they have arrogated to themselves the presumption to choose a man who will one day be considered by this country to be a national disgrace for his mass execution of the most helpless creatures. Instead of being a source of unity, the Order of Canada, now drenched in the blood of the unborn, has now been officially reduced to a source of division and controversy, representing nothing more than the brute political trophy of a dying and ruthless baby killing regime.
For many years now, the support for abortion in Canada has been eroding very quickly in almost every area. Poll after poll shows Canadians want restrictions, and more and more people are starting to classify themselves as thoroughly pro-life. The March for Life rallies get larger and larger across the country every year. The head-to-head battles that we see on the internet, whether simply in terms of popular contests or even debate, keep showing the pro-life side as the victor. Even the more dispassionate pro-aborters have conceded this.
But now comes one last kick at the can to help stave off the inevitable. Henry Morgentaler will be pushing 90 years of age in a few years, and it seemed fitting to the abortion regime he should be honoured for the carnage which he has left behind. But far from actually promoting their own cause, the only things that awarding the Order of Canada to this notorious abortionist will do is motivate the pro-life movement even more, and make the Order of Canada nothing more than a cheap pin-up for the abortion lobby in Canada. It will be interesting to see how many existing members of the Order will return their medal. Personally, if it were yours truly, I’d ship mine back by bulk mail. After all, Ben Johnson won a gold medal at the Olympics too.
And what about Farrow’s second point? The one about the Conservative Sock Puppets who agreed to the change in protocol? I am not sure what is more offensive: the fact that the Conservative government thinks their Sock Puppet points will convince Canadians that the Conservative government has no blood on its hands, or that the Sock Puppets themselves had no part to play changing the protocol and making a singular exception for Morgentaller.
What the Conservatives should be doing is issuing a statement of repudiation of Morgentaler’s award – not on the basis that he is a notorious abortionist, but simply on the basis of common decency, respect for all the people of Canada, and national unity.
One thing is for sure, though, no pro-lifer is going to accept passing the buck about this.