He may have pushed the boundaries in the medical profession.
He may have given women the power to control their bodies and their lives.
He may have influenced changes in society and attitudes towards reproductive rights.
He may have succeeded in lifting the taboo off abortion.
But he does not, nor ever will, deserve the Order of Canada.
First... I don't mind a woman's right to choose. If she feels that she does not want this pregnancy, that all avenues that would help relieve her of the burden of raising a child have been exhausted, or that this pregnancy might endanger her life, then she is entitled to that right.
That being said, abortion is wrong. Period.
I'm not talking about the X-tian notion of the sanctity of life, although I do believe that life begins at conception. This isn't even about meddling with nature, although the concept of man playing God has irked me in more ways than one (see: bin Ladin, Hitler, Stalin, et al).
This is about dereliction of responsibility, the cheapening of morality and the abdication of accountability, and its effect on the collective mindset at the closing of the previous century.
If anyone had given any thought about their actions with regards to the sex act, if anyone were learned on the responsibilities involved, we wouldn't have to worry about abortions.
By carrying out the abortion, the woman who requested it has abdicated responsibility and accountability: it will always be "someone else's fault", "a mistake", "a decision that had to be made in one's own interests".
Just call me a pro-lifer for choice - abortion is wrong, plays God and messes with nature, but let the woman make the final call.
Dr. Morgentaler is not a villain. He is not a monster. He isn't even the Antichrist, let alone an anarchist. He is a doctor attending to a patient's needs.
But what has he done for all Canadians? What has he done for me?
Far from being humble, Dr. Morgentaler said this...
"I think it's a sign of recognition for all the work that I've done over the years and the sacrifices I've borne and the unjust sentence of imprisonment that I suffered," he said.
"I hope that Canada has set an example and that internationally, people in governments will respond to it."
Joyce Arthur of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada was just as modest...
"There's always going to be some division and controversy about him. Canada is the only democratic country in the world that has no law on abortion," she said.
"We set a good example for the rest of the world, and this Order of Canada further sets a good example because it sends a strong message that our society officially supports abortion rights and women's rights and we're not afraid to say it out loud."
Sadly, I don't see any point why Dr. Morgentaler should get this honour, at least at this time.
If this is Canada's way of saying that we are a progressive country, then something has gone FUBAR. The Order of Canada is not for Henry Morgentaler.
So there you go.