Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Morgentaler gets Order of Canada under Conservative rule

Amid the backlash from Canada’s conservative media condemning organizations like the York Federation of Students and the Canadian Federation of Students for sticking to their pro-choice roots, Henry Morgentaler has just been granted the Order of Canada. Dr. Morgentaler has been a dedicated pro-choice and womens’ rights advocate.

Unsurprisingly, the Harper government is trying to distance itself from the decision.

This move comes at an interesting time. In addition to the decisions by some
student organizations not to fund anti-choice campaigns being misrepresented as “banning” pro-life groups from campus—a the misrepresentation that the conservative media and and anti-choice groups are willfully promoting—this decision comes as Conservative MP Ken Epp’s private members’ bill "Unborn Victims of Crime”, is still before the House. But Ken Epp's bill is only the latest attack against women’s rights by Harper’s Conservatives. In December, 2006 for example, they drastically cut the National Action Committee on the Status of Women and the Court Challenges Program.

To many Canadians, Morgentaler’s recognition for his years of dedication to women’s reproductive rights is long overdue. But the fact that this appointment was made while Harper’s government is standing, is a strong political indication that Canadians will not easily flip-flop on their long-standing preference for progressive abortion laws.

The Ryerson Free Press congratulates Dr. Henry Morgentaler and the selection committee who chose him for this award. Those who stand committed to ensuring that women’s reproductive rights are respected in
Canada should likewise publicly celebrate this timely award.

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