Finally! After many years of being overlooked Dr. Morgentaler will receive the Order of Canada.
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Henry Morgentaler, C.M.
Member of the Order of Canada
For his commitment to increased health care options for women, his determined efforts to influence Canadian public policy and his leadership in humanist and civil liberties organizations.
My own birth mother found herself pregnant with her seventh child in the late sixties. She had six children in ten years. Even then it was difficult to raise a large family. Clothes were hand me downs, lots of cheap cereals, powdered milk, no money for vacations or treats. Christmas came from the local charity and need was always felt. She had to undergo the indignity of a counsel of doctors called to determine whether she should have the right to terminate this pregnancy. Fortunately they said yes. She had the termination and a tubal at the same time.
My best friend when I was a teen found herself pregnant at age 18. She was unsure if she wanted the termination but her very catholic mother insisted she have it. Later married and pregnant with their second child when faced with a life threatening illness from her pregnancy her very catholic doctor refused to either preform an abortion or refer her to a doctor that would help. He told her it was her responsibility as a woman to carry this pregnancy to term even if it killed her and left her son motherless. She fortunately found other help but the pregnancy was much further along by then as was her chance of dying.
There can be no justice for women if it does not include the right to determine what happens to her body and her future. To deny women access to abortion is to deny half the population rights to self determination. Men can impregnate multiple women and just move on. There is no emotion toll, no physical toll, no monetary toll. Their education, careers, pensions remain unaffected yet this is just the beginning of the litany of things women who choose to be mothers must deal with.
“I believe that children should receive love and affection so that they may grow up to become kind and responsible persons. I also believe that the best way to achieve this is to allow women and couples to decide at what time in their life they should bring a child into the world. In a case of unwanted or accidental pregnancy a woman should have the right to choose and obtain an abortion under good medical conditions to protect her life, health and future fertility. I have dedicated the largest part of my professional life as a physician to help women obtain safe abortion in an atmosphere of compassion and empathy. I am proud of the dedicated staff who have helped me achieve this humanitarian objective.” Henry Morgentaler.