Oh, Canada! Here Comes the Manufactured ‘Pro-Life’ Outrage

Hot on the heels of the recent bestowing of the Canadian Labour Congress’ Award for Outstanding Service to Humanity, CBC News reports that pioneering abortion rights activist Dr. Henry Morgentaler is now slated to be appointed to the Order of Canada:

Dr. Henry Morgentaler, who led the fight to legalize abortion in Canada, was supposed to be honoured Monday, but the ceremony has been delayed for unknown reasons, a government source told the Globe and Mail.

The honour, considered the highest in the country, is announced by the Governor General on the advice of an advisory panel.

Conservative MPs on Monday did not directly confirm the news, but stressed that appointments to the order are not made by cabinet. Nine people, including two government appointees, sit on the Order of Canada panel.

MP Maurice Vellacott, a Conservative from Saskatchewan who opposes abortion, told the Globe and Mail that he heard Morgentaler’s appointment was not unanimous.

“This is a pretty divisive issue,” he said. “I think we can all agree on that, so why would we have the highest honour in the country being issued when there is obviously a strong difference of opinion about it?”


Morgentaler, a trained family physician, argued that access to abortion was a basic human right and women should not have to risk death at the hands of an untrained professional in order to end their pregnancies.

Morgentaler’s clinics were constantly raided by his opponents, and one in Toronto was firebombed. Morgentaler was arrested several times and spent months in jail as he fought his case at all court levels in Canada.

His victory came on Jan. 28, 1988, when the Supreme Court of Canada struck down Canada’s abortion law. That law, which required a woman who wanted an abortion to appeal to a three-doctor hospital abortion committee, was declared unconstitutional.

Cue the expected weeping and gnashing of teeth from outrage-addicted Canucklehead wing-nuts, courtesy Dr Dawg:

I was going to let this go and just party today, but reading the drivelling hatred oozing from the nut-o-sphere this morning has delayed my plans.

I’m referring to the speech-warrior crowd, the people who stand up for freedom in our Stalinist wasteland, who freep the hell out of newspaper polls, who can’t even spell the name of the person they hate, the folks who make sleazy references to Morgentaler’s Jewish ethnicity.

Yup, it’s all the old familiar faces. There’s Binky, aggregating blogposts about the Mark Steyn auto-da-fé, now dutifully directing us to various vicious anti-Morgentaler posts. Funny how the taste for freedom dissipates when women’s rights are at stake. Funny how the bigotry kicks in.

Yes, that is interesting, innit? I’d once again say something about irony’s untimely demise, but I think I’ve already buried that particular line of snark six feet under (and then some). Hey, flogging a dead horse is just too cruel, even for a baby-hating feticide-apologist like yours truly (yes, I really do think).

Maclean’s columnist Andrew Potter has it [almost] right [except for the part about there being “no other serious champions” for reproductive freedom]:

Dr. Henry Morgentaler risked his reputation, his freedom, and his life for decades in service of a cause that had no other serious champion in this country.

He is a remarkable man who has lived a remarkable life. He deserves to be a member of the order of Canada, because, more than the vast majority of members of the Order, he has lived his life according to the motto inscribed on the medal: He desired a better country.

Or, as JJ puts it (as only she can):

I don’t give a happy monkeyfuck if “others fundamentally disagree” — they can get stuffed. Dr. Morgentaler has contributed more to Canadian women’s right to self-determination than any other individual, and has risked his life and his freedom doing it. Before he stood up for our rights, our reproductive business was dictated by the state and whatever sex-obsessed authoritarian busybodies had its ear. Not acceptable: never was, never will be, and Dr. Morgentaler sealed the deal. His Order of Canada is long overdue… .

A-fuckin’-men, sister.

Look, I’m not one for overt displays of patriotism, nor for possessing much in the way of ‘pride’ in my country (as opposed to hope for humanity in general, regardless of national borders). Still, giving this particular honour to someone who essentially put his career–and his life–at risk to ensure that a Canadian woman’s right to bodily autonomy is not constrained by the State makes even a staunch internationalist such as yours truly feel a twinge in ye olde chest cavity of–yes–proud nationalist sentiment–either that, or the kielbasa I ate earlier is repeating on me. In any case, don’t expect ol’ matttbastard to take a page out of Uncle Steve’s good book and start asking ‘God’ to bless Canada (although I do reserve the right to hypocritically say ‘gesundheit’ when someone sneezes in my presence).

h/t skdadl and dBO, who offers the following wry observation in response to Liberal MP Dan McTeague’s claim that “[t]he Governor-General and the committee advising on appointments to the Order of Canada have always been careful in the past not to choose people who were controversial or who would not be unanimously celebrated by all Canadians”:

One of the commenters at JJ’s reminds us that last year, there was a choice for the Order of Canada that was controversial and affronted the fundamental rightwingnutters and fetus fetishists: the Rev. Brent Hawkes.

But-but-but what about divisiveness? Or the dead babies? FOR GOD’S SAKE WON’T SOMEBODY PUHLEEASE CONSIDER THE MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF DEAD BABIES?1?!!!11interrochittychittybangbangone

Background: more from CBC News:

Update: via Bruce and JJ: it’s official:

Henry Morgentaler, C.M.

Toronto, Ontario

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.

Congratulations, Dr. Morgentaler.

Update 2: More from Dave at the Beav on McTeague’s bogus contention re: anodyne OoC selections.

Update 3: More cork-popping from April, JJ, Bruce, and Dawg.

Update 4: Get some bubbly at The Stormy Days of March, thought,interrupted by typos, and Canadian Cynic.

Also, Scott Tribe in comments at Kuri’s place provides the following (scroll down, second comment):

Actually, you and everyone else should also thank Beverly Mclaughlin, chief justice of the Supreme Court, for waiving the normal requirement of a vote having to be unanimous for the panel to pass along the recommendation to the G.G.

Great. I can already envision the endless parade of unhinged harangues against our tyrannical judiciary this bit of news is sure to provoke.

Update 5: Hysperia reminds us that, while this is indeed a laudable occasion, we should try not to get too caught up in the celebrations. We still have quite a ways to go before universal access to reproductive services in Canada is achieved.

Update 6 07.03: Renee @ womanist musings on Morgentaler and the importance of reproductive liberty for lower-income women.

32 Responses to “Oh, Canada! Here Comes the Manufactured ‘Pro-Life’ Outrage”

  1. blanks says:

    Well matttbastard seems another wetdream of the lazy left have finally come true and a blackmailer, cheat, lier and abortion “Hero” has finally received the Order of Canada.
    I’m not sure if he gets to keep it though?
    I think this is a fraud perpetrated upon the Order of Canada and this nation. If they changed the normal rules that everyone else had to go through to their “Honour” for this national “icon” of Liberals.
    The supporters of this muted dog (Morgnentoyler) are not only a shame to society they are a sham.
    Like Morguntoller.

  2. I assure you, there is nothing “manufactured” about the outrage I feel about this butchers “honour”. David Ahenakew’s Order of Canada was stripped from him, and rightly so, for endorsing the Holocaust, yet now we are honouring a man who was instrumental in creating a modern day version against defenseless children. This is no victory for your side.

  3. matttbastard says:

    Ah, here we go — the best and the brightest show up with bells on.

    Blah blah blah modern-day holocaust, blah blah blah I kant spel bah blah blah defenceless blobs of cell tissue.

    Seriously, go fuck yourselves sideways with a rusty pair of forceps.

    Oh, and have a Happy Canada Day.

    (Yes they are calling a Holocaust survivor a purveyor of genocide. Yes, they have no shame whatsoever.)

  4. Bruce says:

    To quote the immortal Stewie Griffin: Victory is mine!

    This has nothing to do with the holocaust and everything to do with the right of women to make their own choices. You can draw all the illogical comparisons you want but none of it changes the real facts. And the facts are that people with names like blazingcatfur (that says it all right there) think they have some inherent right to tell a woman what to do with her body and therefore her mind.

    This is a control issue for people like that and nothing more. People who are so morally and spiritually weak that they feel they have no alternative but to pick on what they perceive as the weakest target, still too often women. People who think if they try hard enough to bankrupt someone else’s soul it will make their own better. Nothing more than bottom feeders.

  5. skdadl says:

    I’m not surprised that someone who’s shooting blanks is clueless about women’s reproductive freedom — about women in general. And I’d love to hear from bcf about the work he puts in to care for the defenceless children — by which I mean the ones who are already here.

    mattt, I have one small bone to pick with Andrew Potter (should have said this at his blog, but didn’t notice it till I read you):

    a cause that had no other serious champion in this country

    Ahem. Cough cough. I have endless admiration for Dr Henry, and no one else could have played the role that he did, but all those women who worked so hard for so many years — we are not “serious champions”? Apparently not to Andrew Potter.

  6. matttbastard says:

    Ugh. I somehow missed that little gem from Potter, skdadl.

  7. — de·fense·less \-l?s\ adjective
    — de·fense·less·ly adverb
    — de·fense·less·ness noun


    Well that’s today’s spelling lesson over with. Now perhaps you can work on your potty mouth;), One day if you work hard enough you may even be able to formulate a reasoned intelligent response.

  8. Bruce says:

    Oh you’re so smart! Is that the best you can do big guy? Diction?

  9. skdadl says:

    bcf is kinda ignorant on the international front, isn’t he.

    Oxford spelling: defence = noun; defense = verb.

    I’m a Canadian, bcf. Keep your arrogant imperialist paws off me, ta very much.

  10. matttbastard says:

    Was that an awkward attempt at a spelling flame, Burningcatpiss? Why oh why do fetus fetishists hate the Queen’s English (on Canada Day, no less)?

    (Hope you didn’t pull a muscle trying to pat yourself on the back for that, Pissy.)

  11. matttbastard says:

    skdadl: Actually, he’s Canadian. Yeah, I know, I know —another one to apologize for (hey, at least we’ve already dealt with Bryan Adams).

  12. skdadl says:

    Holy fiddleheads. Does this mean I have to apologize to all the real arrogant imperialists? 😉

  13. Bruce says:

    He’s Canadian?!! Ugh. Evidently this US apologist doesn’t feel that even our spelling is correct.

  14. JJ says:

    Right-wingnuts giving spelling lessons? Good grief, irony isn’t dead but I think it’s on life support.

  15. matttbastard says:

    Evidently this US apologist doesn’t feel that even our spelling is correct.

    Hey, I’m sure he’s aware of all spelling traditions, Bruce.

    (Forgive me — I realize that meme is so ten days ago, but I never got to participate in the collective netenfreud the first time ’round.)

  16. Bruce says:

    I wasn’t there the first time around. He may be aware, but not respectful. It’s a Canadian subject, this critter is Canadian, he can speak the damn language.

    No attitude here, name of my blog notwithstanding. Ha Ha!

    Oh, I’m such a happy little Canuck today with this news! Bite Me!

  17. Bruce says:

    Right, getting caught up in the situation…

  18. One day all the old Hippies will be dead.

  19. matttbastard says:

    Is that what passes for sage insight among contemporary zygotists? Colour [sic] me underwhelmed.

    (Gleefully pining for the deaths of ‘old hippies’. How….life affirming of you, oh pissy one.)

  20. Bruce says:

    Visionsofpussiesonfire has already determined what he wants out of his deprived little life. Those of us who care can spend our time on much more worthy ideals can just move on.

  21. Mike Blackadder says:

    I have to say that I find it pretty annoying reading through the useless commentary on both sides of this issue.

    Bruce on July 1st, 2008 4:39 pm: At least there is an attempt here to add something meaningful to this abortion controversy. There is something reasonable in what you say here; about women rightfully having legal authority over their own bodies.

    However, there is the inconvenient reality that Bruce is unwilling to acknowledge. Human babies grow in women’s bodies. Just as infant babies and young children require sustenance and protection from their parents. The moral dilemma of women having sole jurisdiction over their bodies and the existence of a living human in the women’s body is not settled by trivial arguments. Canada’s solution to this dilemma is simply to say that an unborn child (or fetus) has no rights. To me, this position is completely unbalanced and so it doesn’t surprise me that some people are outraged, and that there is controversy around abortion. It’s incredible, but I find even Holland has far more reasonable and balanced policies.

    So BCF, do you really think that Dr. Morgentaler has had the same impact on humanity and civil society as Hitler or are you just being provocative? And are the rest of you actually satisfied with the present state of Canadian abortion law where a baby has no right to life simply because we call it a fetus? What a bunch of garbage.

  22. Paladiea says:

    One day all the old Hippies will be dead.

    And new more evolved hippies will replace them! The cycle of life continues!

    However, there is the inconvenient reality that Bruce is unwilling to acknowledge. Human babies grow in women’s bodies. Just as infant babies and young children require sustenance and protection from their parents.

    Ya except that no human has the right to co opt another human to meet it’s survival needs. That’s why you don’t see diabetes patients with blood type testers and needles running around looking for free dialysis machines.

    So if no one has that right, why does a clump of cells get it?

  23. Shelley says:

    This blog insults every woman who has ever had to make the difficult decision whether to carry a fetus to term or to abort the fetus and live with the regret for the rest of her days.

    And that is also the problem with Canada’s abortion law. While I support a woman’s right to choose, it should be an informed choice. Barbara Kay makes the point better than I could in her column today in the National Post.

    It must be comforting to be absolute about a matter of life and death. If only all of our choices could be so cut and dried.

  24. matttbastard says:

    Barbara Kay makes the point better than I could in her column today in the National Post.

    Congratulations. By uttering this in public (in earnest, no less!) you have henceforth forfeited the courtesy of ever being taken seriously again.

    Also, Blackadder, your ‘pox on both houses’ approach, including the requisite plea for ‘balance’ is, unsurprisingly, not the sort to make much headway with an unreasonable feminazi extremist like yours truly. Be careful, though–you’re going to eventually suffer a repetitive stress disorder with all the self-righteous finger-wagging.

  25. Paladiea says:

    And that is also the problem with Canada’s abortion law. While I support a woman’s right to choose, it should be an informed choice. Barbara Kay makes the point better than I could in her column today in the National Post.

    Do you currently think women are not? That they just heard of this newfangled “abortion” thing and they want to try it out? Get real.

    Stop insulting women’s intelligence.

  26. Mike Blackadder says:

    Paladiea, so according to this logic a parent should not be responsible to meet the survival needs of their children. And maybe we don’t need to recognize the same rights for a “clump of cells” as we do a fully formed person capable of living outside the mother’s body.

    matttbastard, if you don’t think that Canadian law should “balance” the freedom and wellbeing of a pregnant woman against an unborn child’s life and suffering then why don’t you just say that? So sorry I intruded on your little discussion with my self-righteousness.

  27. Paul says:

    Have you ever noticed that all the people FOR abortion have already been born? Let’s envision a world where a Bev McLaughlin would have been aborted? All the pro choice people that I have ever read, listened to, or watched, are saying one thing, LOUD and CLEAR:
    I AM SELFISH AND ONLY MY RIGHTS COUNT – kind of regrettable their parents didn’t think the same way …
    as to the idiot who referred to “clump of cells” rights, who was at one time a “clump of cells” but was fortunate enough to be viewed as a child growing inside its mother, those “clumps of cells” don’t remain such for very long before they are forming recognisable human form – and by allowing abortion up to basically the moment before birth, you can no longer just refer to “clumps of cells” – unless you’re willing to grant that is all you are, basically, but you just happened to make it to the outside without your life being taken from you.
    In this day and age of proliferation of contraceptive means, there is no excuse for becoming pregnant “unwantedly” ,,,except laziness and momentary self gratification being paramount and over riding all common sense. Abortion is not and should not be used, as just another means of contraception.

  28. matttbastard says:

    Have you ever noticed that all the people FOR abortion have already been born?

    Sharp as a butter knife, that one.

  29. Kathy says:

    All the people AGAINST abortion have already been born, too.

    And Matt, what about Bryan Adams? I adore Bryan Adams, so please, please, don’t tell me he’s against legal abortion.

  30. matttbastard says:

    Actually, that’s a South Park reference:

    American TV Anchor: But, Mr. Minister, it isn’t like this film is the first troublesome thing to come out of Canada. Let us not forget Bryan Adams.
    Canadian Film Minister: Now, now, the Canadian Government has apologized for Bryan Adams on several occasions!

  31. Paladiea says:

    Paladiea, so according to this logic a parent should not be responsible to meet the survival needs of their children.

    Not if they have to use their body to do it. Ie donate an organ or bone marrow.


  1. Steynian 185 « Free Mark Steyn! - OOPSIE! NO MOAR TRAFFICK FOR U, Steynian! - matttbastard
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  3. Morgentalerism 2.0 « UnAborted - I don't think so. - matttbastard
  4. Keep abortion legal - Fuck off fetus fetishists. - mb
  5. It's called 'reproductive liberty' - Like I said before: no more fetus fetishist links. Go show the ladies @ Birth Pangs some love, folks. -…

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