There are many problems with universities in North America. They have been described as “island(s) of repression in a sea of freedom.” But the University of Western Ontario’s move to confer an honourary doctorate upon notorious Canadian abortionist Henry Morgentaler is a new low.

The blatant political stunt by the university’s senate has not only irreparably damaged the reputation of UWO, but has tainted the very academic awards it was founded to bestow, by honouring infamy as if it were excellence. The decision is not only shameless, but shows outright contempt for those who take a principled stand against the horror of abortion.

As an institution, UWO has fallen far short of its own ideals by stifling free inquiry and honest intellectual debate. Squandering its own reputation is one thing, but chilling freedom of speech is quite another.

Many outraged graduates and benefactors have already rescinded their donations to the university and we strongly encourage all other alumni to do the same.

Morgentaler’s presence ruined the day for many students who could not, in good conscience, attend their own graduation. But, more tragically, how many students were not there because of Morgentaler’s crusade against the unborn? After all, it is estimated that one out of every four Canadian babies is aborted. One-quarter of those who might otherwise have graduated were missing.

All the academic pomp and ceremony cannot excuse the university’s outrageous action nor sanitize the brutal practice of abortion.