Henry Morgentaler named to the Order of Canada
Dr. Henry Morgentaler has been named to the Order of Canada, the country’s highest honour. A surviver of the concentration camps in Auschwitz and Dachau, he dedicated his life to fight a long and hard battle for the legalization of abortion in Canada – which was achieved in 1998, when the Supreme Court upon his appeal abolished the abortion law on human rights grounds. Dr. Morgentaler, who courageously challenged the law and practiced abortions for more than 35 years to offer women in Canada a dignified, safe and painless way to end unwanted pregnancies, had to bring great personal sacrifices for his convictions. He suffered harassment from religious fanatics and had to spend ten months in prison though finally all cases against him ended with acquittal. His decoration unleashed a firestorm of anger in the "pro-life" camp.
Dr. Morgentaler's appointment to the Order of Canada acknowledges his determination to change Canadian public policy regarding abortion and his leadership in humanist and civil liberty organizations. Morgentaler was the founder and longtime president of the Canadian Humanist Organization. He is an Honorary Associate of Rationalist International.