Today is Henry Morgentaler’s 90th birthday. Please stop now and say a prayer for his conversion.
Morgentaler has often been called Canada’s “arch-abortionist” because, more than any other, he is responsible for Canada’s current regime of unfettered access to abortion through all nine months of pregnancy. After years of arrests for illegal abortions, he was the defendant behind the 1988 R. v. Morgentaler decision by Canada's Supreme Court that threw out Canada's abortion law.
So over the last several decades it has become a tradition in the Canadian pro-life movement to offer a prayer for Morgentaler today. The need has become even more urgent year by year as he’s gotten older.
Catholic pro-lifers have also seen added significance in the fact that today is the Solemnity of St. Joseph, who is revered as patron of Canada.
“It’s not unusual to expect that prayers can cause a conversion as they did with Bernie Nathanson,” Mary Ellen Douglas, Campaign Life Coalition’s national organizer, told me today in the midst of final preparations for the Defund Abortion Rally at Queen’s Park.
Dr. Nathanson was the co-founder of the National Abortion Rights Action League and himself committed over 60,000 abortions as director of what was at the time the largest freestanding abortion facility in the world. He had a dramatic conversion to the pro-life cause in the 1970s with the advent of ultrasound technology and became one of the movement’s shining lights. He is perhaps most famous for his film The Silent Scream.
“That certainly was a dramatic turnaround,” said Douglas. “I remember at one point I said to my bishop: ‘I’m waiting to invite Henry Morgentaler as a pro-life speaker.’ He kind of laughed, and I said ‘I’m serious. If it can happen to Bernie, it can happen to Henry.’”
“We’re praying hard that that conversion will take place, and Henry’s not getting any younger. So hopefully he’ll make the turnaround,” she added.
As believers we deplore Morgentaler's ardent promotion of the culture of death but we also hope for his salvation. After all he has done, none of us can even imagine the weight on this man's soul. Please pray that God's grace would penetrate his heart and provoke him to repentance.