A selfless servant of humanity – that’s what Dr. Henry Morgentaler purports to be. How strange then, that at the CARAL (Canadian Abortion Rights Action League) 25th anniversary meeting in Ottawa this October, practically the only person Dr. Morgentaler cared to talk about was himself.

This humanitarian par excellence (the meeting moderator’s words) explained that his advocacy and performance of abortion was done in order to create “a more caring and loving society,” that he was responsible for the lower incidence of children with mental illness, homeless children, rape, and murder. Morgentaler even called his work “preventative medicine,” and claimed that he was fulfilling a “moral obligation” that would lead to the full realization of human potential.

But there was at least one person in the audience who was not fooled. At the height of Morgentaler’s speech, a previously unnoticed baby began to cry.

Surprisingly, this caused some uneasy shifting by the CARAL members – perhaps an indication that they really do know what they are doing to such babies?

To this commotion, Morgentaler had the nerve to respond with the casual remark, “That is CARAL’s youngest member.”He then returned to his speech, blaming the existence of the “morally bankrupt pro-life movement” on what he called the “violent rhetoric and hate propaganda” of the leaders of the Catholic Church.

The typical carelessness of those in the pro-abortion movement was then exemplified by Dr. Sharon Camp, the CEO of a company that manufactures the morning-after pill. Far from admitting that premarital abstinence should always be the first choice, she made a snide remark about people who are not sexually active, and recommended the practice of providing women with advance supplies of emergency contraceptives, something that would clearly only increase the incidence of unprotected and-or premarital sex.

But there was some encouraging news. Dr. Francis Jacot, director of the Clinique de Planification de Naissance in Sherbrooke, Québec, gave a presentation that reaffirmed the potential power of Christians and other pro-lifers acting in unison. Jacot predicted that the RU-486 abortion pill will not be available in Canada in the near future.

The reason? Pharmaceutical companies fear that selling such a product will result in boycotts of their other products. Jacot also stated that companies will not apply for an RU-486 license simply because it will not make a profit. In the U.S., the largest pharmaceutical distributor, Wal-Mart, refuses to have anything to do with the drug.

A publication distributed at the meeting stated that Planned Parenthood of New York has warned Wal-Mart of a potential boycott as a result. Perhaps a letter-writing campaign in support of the company should be considered by pro-lifers?

After explaining the situation regarding RU-486, Jacot went on to give what he considered to be the good news: a similar drug, misoprostal, is already available for use in Canada.

But doubt was cast upon the extent of Jacot’s true concern for women when he expressed approval for the drug, while stating that it was only “probably safe.”

Almost as disturbing as the event’s speakers, was the accompanying literature. One CARAL document justified the abortion of genetically imperfect children because “Disabled children too deserve the right to be wanted.”

Another document implied that those of us who oppose abortion are attempting to use motherhood as a punishment for sex. Opposition to the transplantation of fetal organs was dismissed as a transparent attempt to prevent the de-stigmatization of abortion.