I wasn’t celebrating Canada Day until I heard from mattt that Henry Morgentaler will be inducted into the Order of Canada. It’s been a long time coming. It’s something to celebrate. This man fought alongside women and endured legal harassment, arrest and imprisonment and put his personal safety on the line in his struggle to make safe, legal abortions more available to Canadian women. To say nothing of the bombing of his Toronto clinic by rightwing nutbars.
Congratulations Dr. Morgentaler! Yea Canadian women!
See LuLu’s post too.
Celebrate, yes, but also remember this.
UPDATE: From mattt at Comments from Left Field:
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.
UPDATE II: See the post at NetRoots where it’s noted that the website of the Morgentaler Clinic notes the following:
None of this would have been possible without the loyalty and support of women’s groups across the country who lobbied governments, raised funds for legal fees, and created a voice that no longer could be ignored. We applaud these women and their dedication to Dr. Morgentaler, a doctor who could not ignore the cry for help.
I’m so glad to have been one of the women who was out picketing in front of the clinic when I was hours away from giving birth.
You can see a video interview with Dr. Morgentaler at the NetRoot site.
The Harper government was quick to distance itself from the decision.
“The Conservative government is not involved in either deliberations or decisions with respect to which individuals are appointed to the Order of Canada,” said Dimitri Soudas, a spokesman for Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
“Rideau Hall makes these appointments based on the recommendations of the Advisory Council for the Order which is chaired by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.”