Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

The Movement Against Morgentaler

Written by Rev. H.A. Bergsma
On Thursday, June 16 at 10 a.m., the University of Western Ontario (London) will confer a honourary Doctor of Laws degree upon Dr. Henry Morgentaler. He founded the first abortion clinic in Montreal in 1968 and in the year that followed he challenged the criminal code. His belief in a “Woman’s Right to Choose” eventually led to a change in the law. He has continued to campaign province-by-province, seeking to provide abortion services. Today, Morgentaler operates six clinics in Canada providing abortion and contraceptive services. There has been a large-scale movement of protest against Morgentaler. A student-organized Website has garnered over 10,000 signatures (Bill VanDoodewaard of St. Thomas and teacher at Providence Collegiate is also involved in one of the website protests.) The Roman Catholic Bishop of London, Ronald Fabbro, wrote a stinging letter to UWO President, Paul Davenport, calling the University's decision "inconceivable and appalling." Bishop Fabbro wrote: "[UWO] chooses to recognize a man who has spent his life advocating that women in Canada have easy access to abortion. Now he seems to be promoting abortion as a legitimate way for society to reduce crime and poverty; in other words, as a form of eugenics. As a result of his efforts, hundreds of thousands of unborn children have been killed." Mr. Don McDougall, Chair of the UWO Board of Governors, has written an open letter to the University in which he states: "It is my firm conviction that this decision will depreciate the honour, adversely effect fundraising, recruiting of students and faculty, relationships with the Affiliated Colleges and alumni, and do irreparable harm to the reputation of the University." Mr. McDougall points out that neither he nor the Board was consulted in advance of the University's decision, and that they were not even copied on the University's Press Release announcing the Morgentaler decision. He asserts that the process followed by the Senate Honourary Degrees Committee was irregular, indeed "corrupted," and that at least one member of that Committee has subsequently resigned. Mr. McDougall calls the Senate decision and its endorsement by President Davenport, “ill-advised in the extreme, a decision that will inflict … a permanent scar … on our well-earned reputation for good judgment.” Some UWO Faculty have announced their intention to show up on June 16, in full academic regalia, to stand outside Alumni Hall in silent protest. (Gleaned from several sources, including National Post, London Free Press, and several other websites) From one of those websites comes the “Breaking News”… “We have just been notified that Judy Rebick, Canadian feminist and pro-abortion advocate, is coming to London to be the guest speaker at a screening of Choice: The Henry Morgentaler Story at the Aeolian Hall on May 31 at 7pm. The event is sponsored by the NDP.”
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