Morgentaler petition delivered to Governor General

  • August 25, 2008

{mosimage}OTTAWA - Signatures of 30,000 Canadians demanding that abortionist Henry Morgentaler’s Order of Canada be revoked were delivered to the Governor General’s residence Aug. 20.

“I am here to say there is nothing heroic or award winning about taking the life of an unborn child,” said Silent No More Awareness Campaign national co-ordinator Angelina Steenstra on behalf of Campaign Life Coalition. “As a woman who has suffered an abortion, I know that to be true."

When Governor General Michaelle Jean named Morgentaler to the Order of Canada earlier this year, it stirred up strong feelings among many who felt his inclusion dishonoured Canada's highest honour.

“Giving an abortionist Canada’s highest honour is dividing the nation, contrary to the award’s original intent,” she said, noting the signatures were gathered from across the country.  She said more petitions were still circulating and would be presented once Parliament resumes after its summer break.

“National division on this award is not diminishing over the summer months,” she said.

Steenstra, whose organization provides an outreach to women and men hurt by abortion, asked Prime Minister Stephen Harper to conduct a review of how candidates are selected.

“The Prime Minister’s office has this authority,” she told journalists and a group of about 30 supporters. “And I am sure the award guidelines can be strengthened to prevent this kind of national division from ever happening again.”

She also asked for an independent body to review Morgentaler’s award and decried the lack of media coverage of a national survey conducted by KLRVU that showed 57 per cent of Canadians oppose Morgentaler’s receiving the award. She said no journalist had even asked to speak to the pollster to question his methodology.

“A simple common-sense test in choosing a winner is to ask whether a day care centre or an elementary school could be named after each winner,” she said. “Imagine ‘The Henry Morgentaler Day Care Centre’ or ‘The Henry Morgentaler Elementary School’ — somehow, this does not match with the historic honour of the award.”

Abortionists are not role models, she said, noting that Morgentaler has for 40 years “led the attack on our youngest and most vulnerable” human beings.

Steenstra said she hoped the issue would stay “on the front burner” if there is an election in the fall.

The gates to the Governor General’s residence were closed to tourists while the small demonstration took place, but no one from the office came to receive the petitions, even though Steenstra said they were told someone would be there to accept them.

She deposited them at the gate in a symbolic gesture, but said the petitions would be delivered by courier to the Governor General, with copies sent to the Prime Minister.

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