Montreal (Qc) CANADA , File Photo of Doctor Henry Morgentaler.
Morgentaler was named to the Order of Canada on July 1, 2008, recognized "for his commitment to increased health care options for women, his determined efforts to influence Canadian public policy and his leadership in humanist and civil liberties organizations.Abortion-rights activists applauded the decision, saying Morgentaler put his life and liberty on the line to advance women's rights, while anti-abortion groups strongly criticized the award, saying it debased the Order of Canada. Several members of the order returned their insignias to Rideau Hall in symbolic protest, including Roman Catholic priest Lucien Larré, Gilbert Finn, former Lieutenant-governor of New Brunswick,and the Madonna House Apostolate on behalf of Catherine Doherty.
On the matter, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he'd rather see the country's highest civilian award "be something that really unifies" and "brings Canadians together,while, Liberal Party leader Stephane Dion said, "Dr. Morgentaler has stood up for a woman’s right to choose for his entire career, often at great personal risk," and asked Canadians to respect and celebrate the decision.
Morgentaler fought the Canadian anti-abortion law from 1967 to the 1982 judgement by Canada's Supreme Court that finally alllowed all women access to abortion perfomed in safe medical conditions.
photo : (c) images Distribution