SHOULD DR. MORGENTALER BE AWARDED THE ORDER OF CANADA?

On at least half a dozen occasions, Dr. Henry Morgentaler, the person most associated with abortions in Canada, has been nominated to receive the Order of Canada. But so far it has never happened.

Now a high profile group of Morgentaler’s friends and supporters are fed up and they plan to take the matter public. His secretary says the group will attempt to force the nomination of Dr. Morgentaler in a “last ditch effort.”

Clayton Ruby, a prominent civil rights and constitutional lawyer, says, “There are a lot of deserving people who don’t have the Order of Canada. But among them Henry stands out like a giant. It’s a monumental absence.”

The group is currently mounting a public campaign to convince Ottawa officials to present Dr. Morgentaler with the Order of Canada.

Do you agree Dr. Morgentaler should receive the Order of Canada?

101 Comments »

  1. 1
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    He should receive the Order of Hubris for being so darn sure that a fetus doesn’t have a human soul…and for making this conviction his life’s work.

  2. 2
    John Says:

    Would have to do a bit of research.
    Not sure what the rationale is for the Order of Canada and how Morgantaler’s credentials match up.

  3. 3
    Joe Agnost Says:

    “He should receive the Order of Hubris for being so darn sure that a fetus doesn’t have a human soul”

    Considering that a “human soul” is a human invention (and myth) I don’t see how it’s relevant.

    Believing in souls is fine – just don’t expect it to be relevant in the real world… keep it to yourself and your church.

    • 4
      John Says:

      If you don’t believe we are more than our physical selves you are choosing to live half a life.

  4. 5
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    Joe: Neil asked whether I agreed with Morgenthaler receiving the Order of Canada. His seeming conviction that a fetus doesn’t have a soul is relevant to ME.

    Obviously, to you it isn’t.

    Perhaps, to you, a fetus is just a good source of protein…fodder to fatten up the Kobi Beef Cattle?

  5. 6
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    Considering the persistant conflict between The Dr and a sizable portion of Canadians, I don’t think he is sufficiently representative of all Canadians to be promoted as a role model through the attribution of the Order of Canada. What’s more, considering our demographic problem I guess, while defending the right of women to dispose freely of their body, he is doing a disservice to the country s a whole. He is responsible for several hundred thousands less citizens.

    • 7
      Jackychan. Says:

      I really hate abortion, but that’s my own opinion. I mean, if you are going to get pregnant, then go with it! That’s what we are all mainly made for anyways; for reproduction! Does it really matter who you reproduce with? As long as you contribute your fair share to the number of people in this planet, then I’m sure you’re fine.

  6. 8
    Chimera Says:

    “The Order of Canada is the centrepiece of Canada’s honours system and recognizes a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. The Order recognizes people in all sectors of Canadian society. Their contributions are varied, yet they have all enriched the lives of others and made a difference to this country. The Order of Canada’s motto is DESIDERANTES MELIOREM PATRIAM (They desire a better country).”

    That’s a quote from the Order’s official website. And according to this, Morgentaler is eligible, because he certainly has made a difference to the country and enriched the lives of women who wanted to be free of the shackles of the patriarchal status quo.

    The problem with his appointment is one of numbers. Companion membership is limited to 165 total persons (and the three members of Rush are considered to be one person), and the roster is full, with three (I think) waiting in the wings. He could, I suppose, be appointed as an Officer or Member, which have no limits except for the number of appointments made each year (64 for Officer and 136 for Members).

    http://www.gg.ca/honours/nat-ord/oc/index_e.asp

    Tony: What one thinks or believes is not criteria for eligibility. Whether or not a fetus has something you call a “soul” is not part of the discussion. The only question is, has he made a difference? And the answer to that is: YES.

  7. 9
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    Chimera:

    Using the criteria you discuss, I suppose we can also nominate Karla Homolka. She certainly has made a difference as well as enriching the lives of several pulp writers and news reporters.

    Of course, she’s still several hundred thousand shy of Dr. Morgenthaler’s tally of how many human lives have been prevented from flourishing…

  8. 10
    Chimera Says:

    Morgentaler has not prevented any lives from flourishing. He has prevented several thousand lives from being destroyed by unwanted pregnancies and freed Canadian women from the burden of legislated brood mare status.

  9. 11
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    Chimera,
    You never know how a life will unfold. I have witnessed unwanted children becoming remarkable people and so called desired children becoming hoodlums and bandits. I still maintain that Morgenthaler is not Order of Canada material at whatever level. Of course Tony goes a bit overboard with the comparison to Karla Homolka. I would like to think that Morgenthaler was motivated by generous intentions, not just satisfying some murderous impulses.

  10. 12
    John Says:

    “I would like to think that Morgenthaler was motivated by generous intentions….”

    As would I.
    Of course, the fact his clinics gross close to 20 million bucks a year can’t hurt either.

  11. 13
    Alex Thomas Says:

    *ahem* Was not Brian Mulroney invested as a Companion of the Order of Canada? Yes, he made a GREAT difference in our lives. It took Canada, as a nation, 117 years to acquire an accumulated debt of approximately 200 billion loonies. It took Brian and his finance ministers only nine years in office to DOUBLE that amount of debt. What a guy! He also sued the succeeding government for defamation of character, which would have been quite the feat, had he had any.
    Compared to Mulroney, Morgentaler is a saint. And your question was…?

  12. 14
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    Alex, as I previously commented on another topic, two wrongs don’t make a right. It turns out Mulroney is a dubious character. Former prime ministers almost automatically get the Order. Is there a withdraw mechanism for it? Perhaps he should be the first to benefit from it!

  13. 15
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    Chimera said:

    “Morgentaler has …freed Canadian women from the burden of legislated brood mare status.”

    There are consequences to our actions. As a male, if I impregnate a woman, she can take me to court and garnish my wages for 22 years in order to pay child support (indeed, she can even unilaterally decide to bring a fetus to term and then bring me to court).

    To paraphrase Chimera, that would make a burden of legislated bread-winner status.

    Deciding to have sexual intercourse brings with it the possibility of pregnancy. However, if a woman does NOT want the responsibility and cost of 22 years or so of rearing, she can give the baby up for adoption.

    Even the father doesn’t have that opting out of responsibility option.

  14. 16
    Paul Richardson Says:

    If they give to him, Robert Pickton should get one too

  15. 17
    Chimera Says:

    “As a male, if I impregnate a woman, she can take me to court and garnish my wages for 22 years in order to pay child support…”

    Tony, as a male, if you don’t take your own share of the responsibility to prevent an unwanted pregnancy in the first place, then you ain’t much of a man, my friend. You’re not the only one who seems to be assuming that birth control is solely the woman’s responsibility. You’re just the one getting the flack for it. Please feel free to pass it on and share the burden with others. Women who find themselves to be pregnant with an unwanted burden should be so lucky.

    “…if a woman does NOT want the responsibility and cost of 22 years or so of rearing, she can give the baby up for adoption.”

    And what does a woman do if she simply does not want to give up control of her body for nine months? What if her objection is not to the end product, but to the process itself? What if the problem for her is the pregnancy, rather than the resulting child?

    “…that would make a burden of legislated bread-winner status.”

    And how do you like having your own choices limited by legislation? Don’t like it? Me, either. Be a mensch. Support choice for everyone.

  16. 19
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    Chimera says:

    “And what does a woman do if she simply does not want to give up control of her body for nine months?”

    She grins and bears it.

    Choice. Action. Consequence.

    “Support choice for everyone.”

    Tell me, please, how a man can have the same choice as a woman, Chimera. Are you suggesting that I, too, can unilaterally decide to abort a fetus that I am the father of, just like a woman can? How would that work?

  17. 20
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    Well where is the debate about the Order of Canada. Morgentaler’s divise actions are the reason why he does not deserve the Order of Canada.

  18. 21
    Chimera Says:

    Tony, just because a woman can get pregnant does not mean she must. Or that she needs to stay that way, if it happens and she is not williing. We have a remedy for it, and it’s called abortion.

    A man’s choices are not specifically the same as a woman’s choices in this matter. When it comes to preventing or remedying unwanted pregnancy, the man’s choice is limited to prevention. And support for the woman who wants an abortion. When a man’s physical capabilities are the same as a woman’s, then he will qualify for the same choices. Mind you, if we ever get to the point where a man’s capabilities are the same as a woman’s, there will be no more discussion — abortion will become no more controversial than which brand of beer to buy for watching the game on TV.

    Grin and bear it. Right. Because the man wants it and her body is right there for his use? Get real.

    If men really want to have any input at all into the final decision, then men have to start taking an active role in the initial responsibility of preventing the unwanted pregnancy in the first place. If pregnancy is successfully prevented, there will be no abortion. If men do not do anything about prevention, then they don’t deserve any input about the remedy, either.

    Paul, this is part of the debate about the Order of Canada…the why of it. There is nothing in the criteria that says divisiveness would disqualify Morgentaler or anyone else. If being divisive could eliminate anyone from consideration, none of our former politicians would ever get it!

    • 22
      Jackychan. Says:

      The remedy should be pain killers, not abortion. I mean, come on! Give the child a chance to live for goodness sake! All the women that are wimping out and having abortions do not even know that the fetus they are aborting could change the world! Look. If Bill Gate’s mother aborted him, we wouldn’t even be here right now.

  19. 23
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    Chimera writes: “When a man’s physical capabilities are the same as a woman’s, then he will qualify for the same choices.”

    This is the old “A woman does all the work with a pregnancy, therefore she gets to call the shots” line of reasoning.

    But it’s a double standard. In family law, for example, most jurisdictions will award a wife 50% of all earnings during the course of a marriage even though the man may have earned it all. With divorce, they’re considered equal partners. Indeed, we have the example in England going on right now in which Heather Mills McCartney, for 4 years of marriage, is on the verge of receiving about $100 million, representing 1/2 of what Paul McCartney earned during that time period.

    But Mills didn’t do much at all in earing the $200 million that she is claiming 1/2 of. But, somehow, she’s considered an equal partner.

    Why then are men not considered equal partners in a pregnancy of which 50% of their DNA is represented?

  20. 24
    Joe Agnost Says:

    “Perhaps, to you, a fetus is just a good source of protein…fodder to fatten up the Kobi Beef Cattle?”

    Man – you’re one STRANGE cat Tony!

    If you think my lack of soul belief is worth commenting on then just wait until you hear some of the other outragious (lack of) beliefs I hold:

    – I don’t believe in any gods or devils
    – I don’t believe in santa claus
    – I don’t believe the bible is anything more than a book of nasty stories
    – I don’t beieve in the tooth fairy
    – I don’t believe in unicorns
    – I don’t believe the vatican is helping in africa, they’re making it worse.

    I’m sure Tony will have a field day with this information!! I’ve probably blown his mind: “you don’t believe in unicorns!!!!”.

  21. 26
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    Earth to Joe:

    1) My reference to fetuses as a a good source of protein was a play on Jonathan Swift’s famous suggestion to the starving of Ireland that they eat babies because they’re a good source of protein.

    2) I’m surprised you didn’t add to your list: “I don’t believe in Elvis and I don’t believe in Beatles” (you know from that crappy song that John and Yoko did).

  22. 27
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    Dear Joe,
    Behind that pseudonym of yours I feel an Irishman. When I was a kid, the Irish kids in Montreal”s Griffintown had the same “take that chip off my shoulder” attitude.

  23. 28
    Joe Agnost Says:

    “My reference to fetuses as a a good source of protein was…”

    Over my head – earth to me indeed!

    “Behind that pseudonym of yours I feel an Irishman”

    What? Are you suggesting my name ISN’T Joseph Bernie Agnost? How dare you….

    “the Irish kids in Montreal’s Griffintown…”

    Just the Irish kids? You could tell this by their green hair or were they always eating lucky charms? Carful here, your true colours are starting to show…

  24. 29
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    Their hair was not green but 80% of the Griff’s population was Irish and they proudly wore their green symbols.
    I honestly thougth that Agnost was a play on “agnostic”, well Joseph Bernie Agnost, I was wrong and I apologize.

  25. 30
    Joe Agnost Says:

    “I honestly thougth that Agnost was a play on “agnostic”, well Joseph Bernie Agnost, I was wrong and I apologize.”

    No need to apologize – it is me who should be doing that… you see, I forgot the 🙂 in my last post. “agnost” is a play on agnostic and isn’t my real name – you were entirely correct with your first assumption.

    I was trying to be sarcastic with my Joseph Bernie line… I might even be Irish if you go down my family tree far enough!

  26. 31
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    “Kondaks” is an anglicized version of the Greek name “Kondaksakis”.

    When my grandparents emigrated from Greece to Ontario in 1918, they shortened it. The family joke is that they wanted to be the first Greek family in history to have a surname with less than 3 syllables but I think the real reason was to more easily assimilate.

  27. 32
    Chimera Says:

    “Why then are men not considered equal partners in a pregnancy of which 50% of their DNA is represented?”

    Because their “contribution” doesn’t amount to a drop in a bucket, that’s why. A man takes a couple minutes out of his day to make this mighty contribution, then forgets about it. A woman carries the thing, grows it, feeds it, put up with the hormonal storms, the backaches, the wear and tear on the bladder and lymphatic system, the pats on the head, the pats on the belly, the too-cutsey baby talk from perfect strangers who feel they have every right in the world to make that swelling belly the center of the stupidest comments ever devised, the phony congratulations, the phony sympathy, the knowing smirks, and then — when every other indignity has been heaped upon her body, mind, and emotions, the final blow — umpteen hours of torture with a cheering section urging her on as if she actually had any other choice at that point. Then, when it’s finally all over, and the kid has been born, what does she get? She gets ignored. Upstaged by her own kid, as if no one had ever seen one of the things before. And to add insult to injury, “Daddy” gets all the congratulations as if he actually did more than fall asleep after scratching his itch.

    The miracle of birth, I am told with authority by various women of my acquaintance, is that after having her body possessed by a demon for nine months, a new mother does not immediately kill it for what it has done to her. And that she does not thereafter go on a homicidal rampage, starting with the cretin who “helped” her for two minutes before he rolled over and went to sleep and forgot about it.

  28. 33
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    I take it then, Chimera, that you would support a divorce law that didn’t automatically assume a woman is entitled to 50% of what a couple collectively earns during a marriage?

    • 34
      Jackychan. Says:

      I support that. We need to make this go viral! COME ON GANG! LETS BRING THIS TO FACEBOOK AND YOUTUBE!!! >:D!

  29. 35
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    Well, Chimera, Kyrie Kondaksakis and Joe Irish(?), is not Canada a wonderful place. Where could that discussion take place without someone being arrested or shot at?

  30. 36
    Dan Says:

    It is a sad country that leaves unsupported women few options but to kill their unborn children. According to the late Mother Terresa, if women can kill their own babies, what greater evil is left?
    The highest order seems to go to people who love humanity so much, they willingly sacrifice their time and energy (and in some cases lives) in order to improve the lives of those who are less able and less fortunate (people they may not know or indeed ever meet). It is ironic that at the heart of abortion lies the complete unwillingness of a mother to sacrifice anything for the most unable and vulnerable person around – her own unborn baby.
    I can see the necessity for abortion in our cruel, patriarchal, self centered country, where women are routinely put in frighteningly desperate situations, but should we be celebrating the fact that we solve the ‘problem’ by killing hundreds of thousands of babies a year? Isn’t this the kind of history that people look back on in shock and horror? Should Dr. Morgentaller really stand side by side with Dr. Penny?
    Really, it is a strange dichotomy of values Canada is showing the world by suggesting people who sacrifice their time and money helping sick abandoned children in Africa are only due the same respect as people who would have happily killed those same children for profit.

  31. 37
    Patrick G. Says:

    Morgentaler claims that he has won a great victory in gaining rights for women. I ask Henry how is he proud that he has stripped the rights of the most vulnerable part of our population. He also claims that he fights for the rights of people. I ask him when does a fetus become a person? From the moment of conception that baby is completely alive. If you say it is not a human because it is not developed fully then I ask, does a baby look like a full-born adult?
    Finally, I would like to ask Dr. Morgentaler how he came to be on this earth. Did your mother not make a decision to have you? Where would you be if your mother had said no?

  32. 38
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    Dan:
    Canada is not the party suggesting the doctor is awarded the Order. It’s a very vocal pressure group called Pro-Choice. Although some Canadians are involved, I would not say that they are Canada.

  33. 39
    Joe Agnost Says:

    “is not Canada a wonderful place. Where could that discussion take place without someone being arrested or shot at?”

    Hmmm… America, Australia, England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Belguim, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Spain…etc…. But yes, Canada is a great place to live.

    “According to the late Mother Terresa…”

    Well considering she did more harm to humanity than good I wouldn’t take anything SHE said seriously… plus, she spent the latter portion of her life lying to the world about her faith – why believe anything she said?

    “should we be celebrating the fact that we solve the ‘problem’ by killing hundreds of thousands of babies a year?”

    Well, when you put it that way – no wait! I almost fell for the “killing…babies” bulls***!

    Say it as much as you want but to me it’s still just a fetus.

    “how is he proud that he has stripped the rights of the most vulnerable part of our population”

    He didn’t strip them of any rights – they’ve never had rights!! Their mother has rights and since they exist solely INSIDE their mother they don’t need their own.

    “I ask him when does a fetus become a person?”

    When it’s born.

    “From the moment of conception that baby is completely alive.”

    It’s alive BEFORE conception doctor! Or do you think sperm is dead? The egg is dead? How does a dead sperm swim?

    “If you say it is not a human because it is not developed fully”

    I don’t know anyone who would say that… the fact that it lives INSIDE another human being, connected to her by the umbilical cord, completely reliant on her for EVERYTHING – that’s why it’s a fetus and not a baby.

    “how he came to be on this earth. Did your mother not make a decision to have you? Where would you be if your mother had said no?”

    What does that have to do with ANYTHING!?!? What a ridiculous thing to want to ask…

    Me, being pro-choice, do not WANT women to have an abortion. I don’t even suggest it as it’s a horrible experience all around.
    But I’m pro-choice because women should have the right to one if they want it.

  34. 40
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    Joe:

    1) Since, according to you, abortion is acceptable when a fetus is considered “unwanted”, certainly you support selective gender abortions? You know, the kind of abortions that are prevalent in India where male babies are prized and female babies are not? Certainly, you support the abortion of “unwanted” female fetuses, no?

    2) Joe, would you have let Bill Gates live?

    Within several years, the autism gene will have been identified and In-utero genetic testing will enable expecting parents to determine whether the fetus they are carrying has the autism gene.

    Many — if not most — expectant parents will not want to carry an autism-gene-carrying fetus to come to terms. In other words: such fetuses are “unwanted”, a characteristic you have said justifies abortion of said fetus.

    Should 99% or thereabouts of all future autism-gene-carrying fetuses be aborted? Because that’s pretty much what will happen.

    Do you support that?

    Here’s, to me, the most important article ever written on the subject of abortion: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7899821/

    After reading it, Joe, please tell me why you would abort Bill Gates…

  35. 41
    Joe Agnost Says:

    “certainly you support selective gender abortions?”

    Yup… I think it’s crazy to play that game but to each their own.

    “would you have let Bill Gates live?”

    What is it with these utterly stupid questions?? Would I have “let” Gates live? How would I have anything to say on the matter of his birth??

    “Many — if not most — expectant parents will not want to carry an autism-gene-carrying fetus to come to terms.”

    And you know this how??

    You’re speculating, and not very well I might add…

    “Should 99% or thereabouts of all future autism-gene-carrying fetuses be aborted? Because that’s pretty much what will happen.”

    I really wonder about people like this (tony – if he means what he’s typing)… “that’s pretty much what will happen” eh?? Ridiculous…. you don’t know squat.

    It’s nice to know that if %99 of a particular group wants something that YOU disagree with that you’d be happy to remove that right from them. That’s fair…

    “After reading it, Joe, please tell me why you would abort Bill Gates…”

    Do you even read what I type??

    What kind of a crazy person reads what I’ve written in this thread and deduces that I’d abort bill gates…. you’re nuts.

  36. 42
    Joe Agnost Says:

    On a side note about Bill Gates though – the computer world would be a MUCH better place if he hadn’t been born. Microsoft held PCs back for a couple of decades by using shady business practices to ensure they help a monopoly on OSes. Too bad they didn’t create a decent OS until well into this century!

    He’s doing some really good things with his money though, so that’s good.

  37. 43
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    Okay, so I was wrong to assume that 99% of expectant parents will abort a fetus with the autism-gene. How utterly crass of me to assume as much.

    So, tell us Joe, what percentage of expectant parents do YOU think will abort their autism-carrying fetuses?

    What nice round figure is acceptable to you?

  38. 44
    Joe Agnost Says:

    “So, tell us Joe, what percentage of expectant parents do YOU think will abort their autism-carrying fetuses?”

    How should I know… but if the number is going to be as HIGH as you suggest then perhaps you should rethink your position since you’d be in the CLEAR minority. Or don’t you believe that majority should rule?

    “What nice round figure is acceptable to you?”

    I know this will be hard for you to believe but I’d love to see ZERO abortions. You see, it’s possible to be pro-choice and still not want any women to have to go through one. It’s about choice – it’s not about wanting people to kill their fetuses.

  39. 45
    Chimera Says:

    “I take it then, Chimera, that you would support a divorce law that didn’t automatically assume a woman is entitled to 50% of what a couple collectively earns during a marriage?”

    When did divorce law get into this discussion? This is about Morgentaler and choice and a medal. If you want to talk about something else (and it’s a juicy topic, alright), start your own blog and let’s see where it takes us.

    Selective abortions…don’t like ’em? Then stop doctors from using available technology that gives the future parent(s) the information they need to make that decision. In other words, no more ultrasounds, no more amniocentesis, no more tests, period.

    Existing persons aside (because no, we are not going to rewrite history or make other peoples’ choices for them), I fail to see the advantage in deliberately propagating flawed genetics. Stock breeders cull weaknesses. Why don’t humans? Why do we deliberately weaken our own chances for survival as a species?

    I’m gonna take my own suggestion and take this branch of the discussion to my own blog. If anyone wants to join in, just click on my name to get there.

  40. 47
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    Chimera:

    Let’s put aside the Eugenics and Nazi-inspired implications of your “I fail to see the advantage in deliberately propagating flawed genetics. Stock breeders cull weaknesses. Why don’t humans/ Wy do we deliberately weaken our own chances for survival as a species?” for the moment.

    The whole point of my invoking the Bill Gates example was to point out that AUTISTICS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR MANY OF THE INNOVATIONS AND INVENTIONS THAT HAVE IMPROVED HUMAN LIFE. And that by aborting said fetuses we aren’t culling weaknesses but doing the opposite: we are eliminating a creativity and intelligence that has been demonstrated to benefit mankind. Autistics appear to have an ability to think-outside-the-box, so to speak, that we won’t have anymore if we eliminate them.

    Without realizing it, however, you are making an argument against Universal Health Care. Prior to 50 years ago, “culling weaknesses”, as you call it, was part and parcel of human evolution; whenever babies with genetic imperfections were born, they soon died because they couldn’t survive.

    Today, all who are born with genetic weaknesses have the benefit of the full court press from society’s resources in order to survive, all thanks to universal health care. For example, if a baby is born with a genetic heart defect, we spare no expense in $100,000 operations in order to save him or her so that he or she can grow up and procreate and pass those “weak” genes on. So that when THEIR children and children’s children are born, they, too, can have the $100,000 operations.

    You think health care is a large percentage of GDP now? Just wait. In 30 or 40 years, we’ll be bustin’ at the seams.

    Universal Health Care is an experiment in human genetics. For the first time in 10s of thousands of years of human evolution we are introducing genes into the human genome that otherwise wouldn’t survive so that they can live and continue to reproduce. You, Chimera, are against such practise (although you probably don’t realize it) and, as such, must necessarily be against Universal Health Care as well.

  41. 48
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    Joe Agnost believes that in the area of human rights, “majority should rule”.

    Here’s a concept for you to mull over in your quiet moments, Joe:

    In the very first article of Canada’s Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, Canada is defined not just as a “democratic” country but as a “free and democratic” country.

    Yes, the word “democratic” denotes majority rule. But the word “free” stands in direct contrast to “democratic”. “Free” refers to INDIVIDUAL rights and freedoms, things that democracies — no matter how large the majority — are not permitted to take away. This is the very purpose of our Charter of Rights; they are there to protect individuals and minorities from the “tyranny of the majority”.

    That is why there are continual court challenges to laws passed by majorities in Canada’s legislatures (either the federal parliament or the 10 provincial legislatures) in which the Charter is used as the basis for those challenges. For example, several provisions of Quebec’s Bill 101 have been found to violate individual rights and freedoms found not only in Canada’s Charter of Rights but in Quebec’s charter or rights as well…DESPITE BILL 101 HAVING BEEN “DEMOCRATICALLY” PASSED INTO LAW BY QUEBEC’S PROVINCIAL ASSEMBLY.

    So, Joe, when you so flippantly suggest that I consider the continuation or non-continuation of what I consider human life based upon what “the majority” feels, I suggest that it is YOU who should reconsider the way you look at the world and what majorities should or should not control.

  42. 49
    Chimera Says:

    “Let’s put aside the Eugenics and Nazi-inspired implications of your “I fail to see the advantage in deliberately propagating flawed genetics. Stock breeders cull weaknesses. Why don’t humans/ Wy do we deliberately weaken our own chances for survival as a species?” for the moment.”

    No, let’s not. The question I posed has nothing to do with Naziism. It has nothing to do with putting one color/religion/language/ethnicity above another. It has to do with the viability of our species as a whole. So no, let’s not forget it. I’ve taken it over to my place:

    http://intothecavern.blogspot.com/2008/02/pro-choice-is-pro-life.html

  43. 50
    Joe Agnost Says:

    “Joe Agnost believes that in the area of human rights, ‘majority should rule’.”

    Not entirely true… I asked YOU the question, I didn’t tell you what I thought. It’s close though. Assuming it isn’t harming anyone else the ‘majority rules’ approach is quite fair.

    And before you say “the fetus is harmed!” I would ask you to point to ONE fetus who has told you that they care. It’s the mother that makes the decision as it’s HER life that’s affected, not yours.

    “when you so flippantly suggest that I consider the continuation or non-continuation of what I consider human life based upon”

    But you just said it yourself: “I consider a human life”. If that’s the case then keep all the fetuses that YOU can produce… but this is no excuse to barge into other people’s lives and tell them what THEY should do with THEIR fetus! How does it have ANYTHING to do with you or your life??

    “I suggest that it is YOU who should reconsider the way you look at the world and what majorities should or should not control.”

    I know one thing – nobody should control a woman and her fetus but that woman.

  44. 51
    Joe Agnost Says:

    Chimera: I have tried to comment on your site but it doesn’t work!

  45. 52
    Joe Agnost Says:

    Chimera – I figured it out…. all’s cool.

  46. 53
    Chimera Says:

    Ah, yes…if you’re used to WordPress, my Blogger platform is a little different. You got it, though.

  47. 54
    exposrip Says:

    The answer is no. Bye-bye.

  48. 55
    Chimera Says:

    Neil, you okay?

  49. 56
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    Well, if Neil’s flu has come back, I can empathize.
    I got the flu last Sunday and although it hasn’t been an overwhelming flu, I just can’t seem to get rid of it.
    It’s sticking like bad chewing gum.

  50. 57
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    Considering Neil’s age, I am seriously worried. Let’s just hope it has not developped into a pneumonia.

  51. 58
    Chimera Says:

    Neil…Catherine…anybody home? Everything okay?

    Or are you just tired of all this fuss and feathers?

    Lemme know, willya? I don’t have an email address for ya, and I’m gettin’ anxious.

  52. 59
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    Chimera,
    I have Emailed Neil twice…no answer. Must be serious.

  53. 60

    I am writing to someone who I believe he knows for information as to Neil’s health. Will let you know.

  54. 61
    Chimera Says:

    Thanks, Bill. I’ve been searching for news, and I can’t find anything at all, which is good news of some sort, I guess. But it’s stressful, not knowing anything for sure.

  55. 62
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    Thank you Bill. Other than his Email I don’t know how to reach him and he does not seem to have been seen at MILR where I usually saw him.

  56. 63
    duke Says:

    Peace be with you Neil, as well as those who read this message.(if this message is not censored 🙂
    The time has come.
    I am here to bring judgment to the living and the dead. The harvest is ripe.
    Now is your time of testing.
    Pass this on to all fellow believers.

    The Faithful Witness
    Duke

  57. 64
    Jeffrey Says:

    Yes, the good Dr Morgentaler should be given the Order of Canada. Heck, radio announcers get it and how many lives did they save? Nobody likes abortion. Those poor women who resort to aboirtion to solve a problem are allowed to do so by law. That debate is over. Read “Freakonomics” and find out why crime fell so sharply in NYC and elsewhere. Hint, it had nothing to do with Mayor Giulliani. Sure adoption might be a laudable route for those who are able. Dr Morgentaler did what he believed in despite personal risks and personal costs. Hey the Pope wears Prada shoes…

  58. 65
    Tim Says:

    Morgentaler is a butcher – abortion kills. He has no respect for life considering he is a holocaust survivor. A women (or man) does not have the right to do what ever she or he wants to do with their body – try selling an organ, selling your body for prostitution is illegal, and so is trying to commit suicide. Stop being so stupid, and wake up. All Morgentaler has ever been interested in is the millions he makes every year from women and the killing of their babies. That is a disgrace that some of you put so little value into life – thank you for contributing to our society of death. As Morgentaler is sick and frail, he is no longer an effective contributor to society (not that he ever was as an abortionist) perhaps it is time to practice some euthanasia. And Joe, you are such a tool – sorry I meant fool.

  59. 66
    Joe Agnost Says:

    “A women (or man) does not have the right to do what ever she or he wants to do with their body – try selling an organ, selling your body for prostitution is illegal, and so is trying to commit suicide.”

    How is it possible for me to give away my organs then? Or give blood?

    “Stop being so stupid”

    I’ll try. Any advice that (clearly) didn’t work for you?

    “perhaps it is time to practice some euthanasia.”

    Does that mean you’re joining our “society of death”?! The elders will be so proud… another convert! Break out the good china – we’re celebrating tonight!!

    “And Joe, you are such a tool – sorry I meant fool.”

    Thanks, I do try.

  60. 67

    Tim –

    Prostitution is not a crime and neither is comitting suicide.

    Why are you so angry?

  61. 68
    Chimera Says:

    Neil, anger like that can come from only one place: fear.

  62. 69
    Lorna Kendrick Says:

    This is interesting, women have not even consider leaving a comment in a site, that is talking about the women’s right to terminate a pregnancy, FROM A MOTHER in CANADA Dr Morgentaler has much more than the order of Canada from us WOMEN, the ones that HAVE the RIGHT to decide

  63. 70

    Lorna:

    You have made a most interesting point. Virtually no women have commented on this post which considers a woman’s right to choose.
    You would think that most women would have something intelligent
    to say on the subject.
    Yet, like Lorna, I am puzzled they are mute.

  64. 71
    Peter LeBlanc Says:

    If Dr. Henry Morgentaller received an award for having provided a safe and legal abortion for thousands of women in a society that is divided on this subject it would have to be fully explained.

    One thought I had is this. Prior to his coming on the scene hundreds of women were receiving abortions from back room unqualified people who in some cases botched the abortion and caused injury and sometimes death to some women. He could be given an award for having saved women in some cases from death or serious injury, not for the act of abortion.

  65. 72
    Chimera Says:

    “Virtually no women have commented on this post which considers a woman’s right to choose.”

    Maybe women consider it to be a topic for which discussion is closed.

  66. 73
    bel011 Says:

    Dr. Morgentaler is a hero to women like me (over 50) who were bound by the paternalistic and moronic rules of church and laws of state. As the mother of 3 sons (all pro-choice) and 2 granddaughters, I applaud Dr. Morgentaler for fighting on my behalf so that I needn’t fight on behalf of my granddaughters so that their right to choose is not dictated by others with narrow views and religious beliefs that do not coincide with their own. The whole notion of choice is exactly that – a choice.

  67. 74

    bel011:-

    Thank your for your impassioned comment on Dr. Morgantaler on Canada Day.

  68. 75
    Lets Get Real Says:

    Morgenthaler receiving the Order of Canada. Are you kiddding me! How many lives did this guy destroy and how many laws did this guy break? If the order of Canada is indeed the “centrepiece of Canada’s honours system” I think we are deeply lacking in honour..If this award recognizes “dedication to the community and service of the nation”, I think the entire nation has the right to decide on his nomination not a small minority of special interest participants. I think the key word here is that “the Order of Canada recognizes those who have enriched the lives of others”…enriched being the operative word. So what is the operational definition of enriched. Hacking up a fetus, flaunting the law and better still making a profit doing it. Please don’t do me or any women in my family any favors by enriching our lives like this. The next thing you know will be handing the Order of Canada out to individuals doing life because “THEY ENRICHED OUR LIVES TOO”!!!!!!

  69. 76
    Matthew Says:

    I think this dr will have his day with God the fetus does have a soul and that life begins a conception. I believe that he is just a guilty as the murderer who kills. I believe that he is not worthly of any award or celebration for having pro choice in Canada. This man in my opinion is pur evil in every cents of the word.

  70. 77
    Chimera Says:

    “I think the entire nation has the right to decide on his nomination not a small minority of special interest participants.”

    That is exactly what happened.

    Anti-choice and slavery-for-women proponents are not the majority in this country.

    “Please don’t do me or any women in my family any favors by enriching our lives like this.”

    Nobody is forcing you or your women to have abortions. All that has been done is that choice has been made available to those who need it. The women who now are legally able to make choices for themselves without worrying about breaking laws or dying from sepsis have Morgentaler to thank.

    And for all those who moan about Morgentaler’s breaking of laws: abolitionists did precisely the same thing to make slave ownership a thing of the past. Suffragists also broke laws in order to gain women’s rights to vote. Margaret Sanger and men and women like her went to jail for contravention of laws that prevented women from knowing anything about contraception. The fight for personal freedoms means getting the undivided attention of the government, and sometimes the only way to make that happen is to break stupid and bad laws repeatedly until someone in Parliament wakes up and says, “Hey! We got a problem, here!”

  71. 78
    Ron Says:

    Now that Morgantaler is getting the Order of Canada award it’s status has been lowered to a pop corn play house comedy.
    The prestigious award given to the baby butcher who has a criminal record is absurd. Who the hell made this happen? It’s a joke and the abortion issue is now open for more debate as the majority of Canadians are deadly against it. We will lobby the government for a reforendum at the next federal election.

  72. 79
    Joe Agnost Says:

    “the abortion issue is now open for more debate as the majority of Canadians are deadly against it.”

    Thankfully you couldn’t be more wrong about that… the majority of canadians support a woman’s right to choose. They might not “like” abortion (but who does) – but they still support the right to choose!

  73. 80
    Chimera Says:

    “…the abortion issue is now open for more debate as the majority of Canadians are deadly against it.”

    You can continue the debate if you want (and if you can find anyone who is willing to continue), but the majority of people really don’t give a damn, because they don’t see it as an issue, anymore.

    Women have the right to decide for themselves whether or not to allow their bodies to be used for any purpose, be it work related, play related, health related, or gestation related.

    Those who think abortion is wrong on some level are free not to have one. They are not free to prevent anyone else from having one, however.

  74. 81
    Dave Duff Says:

    It’s only in Canada that a man such as Dr. Morgentaler could even be considered for such an award. It’s only in Canada such a man could be considered a hero.

    This man has been responsible for the killing of millions of unborn Canadians. The Order of Canada has been rendered meaningless by its connection with this man.

    Hopefully, other recipients will reject this man’s company and return their awards. To even consider this man is an outrageous insult to all of those more deserving.

    It will be a sad day for this country if he is actually given the award. Shame on the committee for even considering him.

  75. 82

    Dave Duff_

    Thank you for your comment. I expect you noticed that a priest in B.C. has returned his Order of Canada.

  76. 83
    Joe Agnost Says:

    “I expect you noticed that a priest in B.C. has returned his Order of Canada.”

    Not just any priest, but one with a sordid backround that should have received more backlash than Dr.M did for sure! Continually abusing children – even after doing jail time for it – and nobody said ‘boo’ about his OoC.

  77. 84
    Chimera Says:

    “To even consider this man is an outrageous insult to all of those more deserving.”

    To have you say that with all the sincerity you can muster is an outrageous insult to to all women who, thanks to Doctor Morgentaler, have the CHOICE to use their bodies as they see fit, just like any man.

    ALL women, mind you. Even those who wouldn’t have an abortion if their very lives were at stake. They now have the right to die in childbirth, if that’s what they choose to do.

    What is wrong with people like you that you think it’s just fine to keep half the population as second- or third-class citizens?

  78. 85
    Jasen Says:

    I just happened across this post and started reading the comments. This particular comment from Chimera had me a bit dumbstruck:

    “Because their “contribution” doesn’t amount to a drop in a bucket, that’s why. A man takes a couple minutes out of his day to make this mighty contribution, then forgets about it. A woman carries the thing, grows it, feeds it, put up with the hormonal storms, the backaches, the wear and tear on the bladder and lymphatic system, the pats on the head, the pats on the belly, the too-cutsey baby talk from perfect strangers who feel they have every right in the world to make that swelling belly the center of the stupidest comments ever devised, the phony congratulations, the phony sympathy, the knowing smirks, and then — when every other indignity has been heaped upon her body, mind, and emotions, the final blow — umpteen hours of torture with a cheering section urging her on as if she actually had any other choice at that point. Then, when it’s finally all over, and the kid has been born, what does she get? She gets ignored. Upstaged by her own kid, as if no one had ever seen one of the things before. And to add insult to injury, “Daddy” gets all the congratulations as if he actually did more than fall asleep after scratching his itch.

    The miracle of birth, I am told with authority by various women of my acquaintance, is that after having her body possessed by a demon for nine months, a new mother does not immediately kill it for what it has done to her. And that she does not thereafter go on a homicidal rampage, starting with the cretin who “helped” her for two minutes before he rolled over and went to sleep and forgot about it.”

    I can see how *some* women might feel this way and how *some* men may act merely as sperm donors in the whole conception/child rearing process, but to project this to be an overarching reality is especially untruthful and demeaning to the whole process. True, some dads are assholes. True, some women don’t relish pregnancy. But to say that “the miracle of birth is that the mother doesn’t immediately kill it” is extremely bitterly vicious hyperbole.

  79. 86
    Chimera Says:

    Not being capable of pregnancy, past, present, or (with all good luck) future, I have to depend upon women who have been through it, in one form or another, for their own experiences. And what I said has nothing to do with the emotional responses of women who are determined to become mothers or men who are determined to become fathers. There is no universal truth when the subject with which we are dealing is centered around the most personal possession one has — one’s own body.

    Biologically, the “contribution” of the man is literally nothing more than a drop in the bucket. Literally a couple minutes of his time, not to mention a miniscule amount of actual physical substance, will suffice, as opposed to the nine months worth of time and the total physical domination that the woman must endure. If she agrees to it, as she is now entitled not to do.

    You may consider what I said to be vicious, Jasen, but I assure you that there are a lot of women out there who tell me it is nothing more than the truth. And who am I to believe — you or them?

  80. 87
    Jasen Says:

    I suspect that based on my experiences as a new father of 2, I am inclined to believe the women in my circle of influence (mothers for the most part), and you are inclined to believe the women in yours. While I would never argue that it is not an arduous process, it seems plain that in general women deem it to be worth the numerous personal sacrifices. Otherwise women would not knowingly choose to go through the conception-to-birthing process multiple times.

    It seems unfortunate in this day and age that we need to limit the man’s contribution to “a drop in the bucket”. A father’s parental contribution doesn’t boil down to the moment of conception, nor does the mother’s end once the baby stops suckling at her tit (if at all). Furthermore, while what you assert about conception itself is “biologically” true, this is not strictly a “biological” argument. If that were the case, there wouldn’t be such an uproar over a women’s right to terminate a “biological” process.

  81. 88
    Chimera Says:

    It would appear that my circle of friends is wider than you believe. Not all the women in my life are dedicatedly child-free. Some of them are mothers. And those ones still will insist that pregnancy is no picnic. Especially in the summer. Especially in the winter. Especially the first one. Especially the second one. Especially the last one. Especially in the city. Especially in small towns. Especially…you get the idea, I think.

    And still, the ones who want to be mothers are still willing to go through it. The ones who don’t, aren’t. And they are all free to choose one way or the other, as they should be.

    This is simply a biological argument for a lot of us. I can’t bring myself to get excited over something as alien to me as pregnancy — I cannot relate to it — although I can see for myself that others do. But that’s okay; it’s not part of my psychological makeup, anymore than thinking the Three Stooges is funny (NOT!) is part of my psychological makeup. I do get excited over the infringement of women’s rights and freedoms, though, because I can imagine having someone trying to take some of my rights away from me — that I can relate to.

  82. 89
    Jasen Says:

    Just to be clear, I was trying to illuminate my potential bias: that MY circle of friends was perhaps NOT as broad as yours. I was not implying in the least that the women in your life were dedicatedly child-free.

    To be perfectly honest, I have a hard time understanding this biological argument to the pro-choice stance. I can understand it fully and stand with you from a rights perspective, but not from a biological perspective. From what I’ve read above, the “biological” argument boils down to a women’s right to control her body. To me (and I mean no offense by this), this is a false argument; a women’s right to choose is not biology. Other than our innate ability to choose between option A and B, there’s nothing strictly “biological” about any person’s right/ability to abuse, cure, destroy, tattoo, pierce, shave, enhance, groom their own body. Actual biology, while influenced by choices, is largely uncontrollable by the individual. One can choose to not eat or sleep but not without biology handing out some pretty severe consequences. Eating, digesting, voiding, sleeping, growing, aging – that’s biology. Abortion is not biology; it is a circumvention of biology.

    HOWEVER, the circumvention of biology does not implicitly infer immorality of practice. This is probably the weakest link in the biological pro-lifer argument and where they get in trouble with the complicated scenarios of rape, failed contraceptives and risky pregnancies.

    Biology (aside from theology) is the pro-lifer’s strongest suit and I would argue the pro-choicer’s weakest. If you’re going to play in their court and equate biology to humanity’s ability to choose, a pro-lifer will always bring it back to a women’s right to choose to not have unprotected sex (and will in large part ignore the scenarios mentioned above). Sex => possibility of fertilization => possible start of biological process. The pro-lifer will unfalteringly and unsurprisingly point out the cause-effect relationship of this biological process. The pro-lifer will agree that a woman has the right to choose, but that the choice is at the beginning of the biological process, not after the dice have been cast. Ultimately, you have to wrestle the argument back to the stronger position of freedom and equal rights.

    All this to say, that I found it unfortunate that you had to write those remarks regarding men’s insignificant biological role. I’ve come into this blog blind, not knowing of any past posting history but to me, the “biological argument” was raised only to silence and devalue the dissenting opinions of certain men. So much for equal rights…

  83. 90
    Chimera Says:

    Jasen, it appears that I have not been clear enough in presenting my points, and that you’re getting the wrong impression as a result.

    Pregnancy is a biological process. Parenthood is emotional. The woman’s right to choose whether or not to endure that biological process is the crux of the argument. Choice itself is not biological, and for some, it possibly involves an emotional element. But you have to be able to split the two things into their basic components. Biology and emotions may partner in some people, but such partnership is neither inevitable nor necessary.

    I don’t know why anyone would think the males’s role in impregnating a female as anything but insignificant. For all the time it takes, the effort involved, and the total physical volume of ejaculate matter in which resides a infinitesimally tiny sperm, it can’t in any way compare to the time, effort, and volume of work put forward by the female who intends to carry the resulting fetus to term.

    The emotional investment of an incipient male parent may be equal to that of the female; I wouldn’t have any way of knowing. And if that’s the case, then in people who want to become parents and partners with each other, the emotional factor is probably a good thing. But again, from a strictly biological point of view, emotions are neither inevitable nor necessary.

    Personally, I separate the emotional from the biological in order to keep the discussion clear. I do not relate to the emotions of people who get all dewy-eyed over a possible future event called birth. I do get emotionaly involved over the abrogation of any person’s right to autonomy of his or her personal property — his or her own body — and to what biological processes he or she is willing to subject it.

    And if that means that a woman has the right to choose to engage in sexual activity for the fun of it, without having to endure the sometime result of pregnancy, I don’t see where anyone else has the right to tell her no.

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