More Prominent Pro-Life Groups Join Those who Oppose Morgentaler’s Order of Canada

By Tim Waggoner

OTTAWA, July 3, 2008 ( - The ranks of Canadians who are vocally opposing Dr. Henry Morgentaler’s elevation into the Order of Canada are growing ever thicker as several more prominent pro-life groups, representing hundreds of thousands of supporters, have come forward to say that the decision to give Morgentaler the award was nothing more than a politically motivated decision by an extreme "leftwing" and pro-abortion minority.

Real Women Canada has released a statement claiming the Order of Canada itself has become little more than a mere "political tool", demonstrated by the fact that a disproportionate number of political "leftists" have been appointed to the Order over the years.

"The appointment of Morgentaler to the Order of Canada makes obvious the fact that the Order, established in 1967, has become a political tool to promote the left-wing agenda. Over the years, the Order of Canada has mainly been awarded to feminists, homosexuals, environmentalists, left-wing broadcasters, writers and others involved in promoting the political left. Rarely has the Order of Canada recognized the services of those who take a conservative approach to issues," read the statement.

The women’s group also questioned the Chief Justice of the Canadian Supreme Court, who spearheaded the effort to secure Morgentaler’s appointment to the Order, asking how she could claim to retain judicial "impartiality" while sitting on such a "partisan" committee: "Since it is politics, rather than achievement, that is the operating principle of the Order of Canada, the Order has no honour. In view of the political debacle that the Order of Canada has become, it is reasonable to question why Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin is chairing such a partisan agency.  The Order of Canada should be discarded because it is a partisan organ, which is meaningless to most Canadians - for good reason."

Following suit was Brian Rushfeldt, Executive Director of Canada Family Action Coalition, who said, "With such manipulation of the system we question if the Advisory Council Chair, Justice Beverly McLachlin’s well-known ‘unwritten constitutional principles’ subverted accepted Council procedures.  The integrity of the Order of Canada has been undermined as it has become a political award administered by a judicial activist."

The Toronto Right to Life Association also commented on the unusual manner in which Morgentaler was given the award:  "The highly objectionable manner in which this award was given, which bypassed the usual procedure of obtaining a unanimous vote from the Order of Canada Advisory Committee to the Governor General, was unjustified.  It reflects the personal sentiments and agenda of the committee members who voted in favour of the award only, and does not reflect the view of the entire committee or the national sentiment on this issue."

Angelina Steenstra, National Coordinator of Silent No More Awareness Campaign and co-founder of Second Chance Ministries said she was "appalled" by the decision, but "not surprised."

"They take an award of truth that was made to bind Canadians together and they bestow it on a man who has divided people from each other, from their families and from the nation, and in their own hearts," said Steenstra.

The pro-life leader made comments similar to those of Real Women Canada, saying that the Chief Justice’s decision to appoint Morgentaler into the Order of Canada was "forced and militant" and "disregarded democracy and the free will" of the majority of Canadians who do not support abortion on demand.

Joanne Byfield, president of LifeCanada also released statements accusing the decision of being a politically motivated attempt to solidify abortion in Canada as a non-issue. Byfield emphasized the fact that the award was bestowed upon a man whose life work is despised by most Canadians.

"This is a desperate attempt to sanctify Canada’s deplorable situation on abortion. Forty years after abortion was decriminalized and twenty years after the limited restrictions on it were removed, two-thirds of us, according to polls, still don’t accept abortion as just another medical procedure. The pro-abortion minority has shut down political discussion of the subject. Now, as a nation, we must declare Henry Morgentaler a hero and give him our most prestigious honour? Let’s be clear. Here is a man who says he has aborted thousands of babies with his own hands. That is not something most Canadians will celebrate," she said.

Byfield expressed her belief that the Order of Canada is now tainted for many Canadians: "We know from polls over the last 30 years that the majority of Canadians do not support unrestricted legal abortion and they resent being forced to pay for them. This award not only ignores that reality, it tells us that taking human lives is heroic and honourable. This is beyond belief and a shameful decision."

See related coverage:

Pro-Life Groups Horrified by Morgentaler’s Appointment to the Order of Canada

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