By Ted Gerk
OTTAWA, July 7, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Mother’s Day 1973. Abortionist Henry Morgentaler appeared on national television performing an abortion, daring officials to prosecute him. It was, by all accounts, not just a slap in the face to those opposing abortion, it was a rub-your-nose in it event. Why would anyone else possibly consider value in televising an abortion on Mother’s day? (See: Brian Dickson: A Judge’s Journey - http://books.google.ca/books?id=Z9kw6e3N608C&pg=PA6&lpg=PA6&dq=Morgentaler+%22Mother%27s+Day%22&source=web&ots=eEICxfbNZN&sig=_K-cQkHse4mnKH9zFQzFGPQXNTQ&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=10&ct=result)
But such is the life of Canada’s newest “hero”, Henry Morgentaler. A life lived totally on spitting in the faces of those he doesn’t agree with.
There was the story 3 years later, 1976, where Morgentaler botched an abortion on a black foreign student. The event formed the basis for the Professional Corporation of Physicians of Quebec to take away Morgentaler’s licence for a year. Pro-choice advocates whine that it had to do with the legality of abortion, but the decision clearly shows that the suspension was for performing an abortion – badly.
Journalist Celeste McGovern wrote in the Alberta Report in 1991 (http://clcbc.org/morg/ar91.htm)
“The committee stressed that the suspension was not only for doing illegal abortions but for doing them badly: for not holding a valid interview before the abortion, for failing almost completely to gather a case history of his client, for failing to perform the necessary pregnancy test or blood test, for not obtaining pathological examination of the "tissues" removed and for failing to follow up the state of health of his patients afterward".
The panel declared that Dr. Morgentaler’s behavior reflected "an attitude which is primarily directed to protecting his fees." It was stated in the testimony that he had reduced his fee from $300 to $200.00 per abortion "and considers himself well paid at this rate. In fact, on the day he was arrested… [he] had already accomplished six abortions between 10 a.m. and noon."
Based on his admission at trial of having by then performed up to 7,000 operations, Dr. Morgentaler was ordered by the Quebec Superior Court to pay the provincial government $354,799 in skipped taxes for the years 1969-72. The disciplinary medical board deplored his practice as one which "confers a mercenary character on the doctor-patient relationship," and said it was "incapable of reconciling [Dr.Morgentaler’s] behavior with the humanitarian concern that [he] invoked throughout his defence."
The conviction was appealed, and upheld by the Canadian Supreme Court totally on a question of law. McGovern adds:
What followed was as unprecedented as it was controversial. Then-justice minister Ron Basford, employing a seldom-used power, ordered a retrial and the conviction was overturned on the basis that it was now deemed "necessary" for Dr. Morgentaler to have broken the law to perform the abortion for which he had been arrested. The licence suspension was, as a result, nullified even though the sworn testimony and the censures of the medical committee stood. (Alberta Report April 1, 1991)
1974 saw a complaint against Morgentaler for re-using Hospital instruments. (http://clcbc.org/morg/gaz74.htm) Through the years many of the abortion clinics that bear his name have had public controversy ( http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2004/aug/04081301.html) over reports of botched abortions (http://clcbc.org/morg/es93.htm).
August 1973 saw Morgentaler write his now famous letter to then Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau (See: http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/may/08050801.html).The letter appeared to be a thinly veiled attempt at blackmail, and suggested that the elites in Canada were regular users of Morgentaler’s abortion services.
"Do you know that Dr. Leon Trudeau, a cousin of yours, has been referring cases to me? Do you know that Quebec ministers who officially came out against abortion, have had relatives treated in my clinic and helped there? Do you know that a relative of [Quebec health minister] Claude Castonguay (who refused to recognize my clinic as requested by me) has had an abortion in my clinic just the day before I was raided? If she knew she would be safe there, does he not know that all patients would be? Or does he not want to know?"
Through it all, from that Mother’s Day in 1973, Morgentaler’s story has not been merely one man trying to achieve a higher good for all, in a spirit of compassion and love for mankind.
It has been a story of one man literally spitting on the beliefs and values of a large segment of the Canadian population.
Sadly, and typically, with the help of Canadian politicians.