Tony Gosgnach
The Interim

Although the dirty deed has been done, the fallout from the University of Western Ontario’s awarding of an honourary doctor of laws degree to abortionist Henry Morgentaler continues.

Discourse leading up to the conferring of the award on June 16, as part of convocation ceremonies, had focused on financial and enrollment losses that would be accruing to the university as a result of its decision. In the weeks since the event, it seems those chickens have come home to roost.

Nikki Cooke, Campaign Life Coalition London spokesman, says she has heard that big financial supporters of the university are taking away their money and that “the enrollment of students is definitely going to drop.”

“UWO is a place of higher learning and it needs children,” she told The Interim. “Where are they going to be coming from now? The pro-lifers are not going to be putting their children in that school. I’m going to continue to see that that happens.”

Cooke said she plans to send her seven children to other scholastic institutions when they reach university age, beginning in two years’ time.

According to the now-defunct website, some alumni, headed by an Ivey MBA, want to push for the resignation of university president Paul Davenport for causing damage to the university. The group believes that new senior administrative leadership would do much to bring healing and that it is incumbent on the current leadership to show that they are actively working to include and promote those who were offended by the Morgentaler honour, should there be any hope of recovering some of the school’s loss in reputation.

For his part, Davenport has released a statement noting he was “was impressed by the environment of respect and tolerance” on campus when Morgentaler received his degree. “Faculty, staff, students, alumni and other members of the community – regardless of their personal views about Dr. Morgentaler and the honour Western chose to bestow on him – affirmed their beliefs and faith in a way that fully respect convocation, our graduating students and their families,” he said.

Of course, that environment may have been helped by the erection of temporary metal barricades around the university and the presence of dozens of uniformed police throughout the campus to suppress dissent.

As expected, the mainstream media attempted to put a positive spin on the day’s events. The Globe and Mail newspaper, which never misses an opportunity to plug Morgentaler, ran cheerleading columns by former Morgentaler sidekick Judy Rebick and medical reporter Andre Picard.

Morgentaler’s “crusade to legalize abortion and to make safe medical abortions available across the country has greatly benefited the health of Canadian women,” crowed Picard in his June 16 piece, “The right choice: honouring Morgentaler.”

CBC News’s Heather Hiscox ran a glowing Morgentaler tribute that one might have mistaken for a Canadian Abortion Rights Action League propaganda film. Cooke noted that Hiscox was invited three times on the day of the convocation to speak to her and obtain another perspective on the degree-granting controversy, but wouldn’t do so.

“It was disappointing, but we were pleased we even got coverage. They just decided to pick and choose what they wanted to put in. They chopped up what I was saying or just put one little part in. That’s the way the media are.”

Jim Hughes, national president of CLC was twice contacted by Hiscox before the event to line up an interview. However, she failed to show up for it.

The London Free Press newspaper, perhaps responding to charges of bias from both sides of the abortion issue, printed a follow-up article by editor Paul Berton (son of the late pro-abortionist Pierre). He reported that the newspaper published an equal number of pro- and anti-Morgentaler letters to the editor, despite the fact that the antis were, as he called them, “more vocal.” The protest website said the newspaper received hundreds of letters critical of the Morgentaler honour and failed to print many of them.

Although some religious leaders, such as the Roman Catholic bishop of London, Ronald Fabbro, were supportive of the protest, Cooke cited as a disappointment the paucity of rank-and-file clergy present the day of the event.

In other news, a Jewish scholar, Arnold Ages, has decried Morgentaler’s breach of logic, analogy and history, as the abortionist attempted to justify a right to abortion during his acceptance speech.

Ages, a distinguished emeritus professor at the University of Waterloo in Ontario and scholar-in-residence at the Beth Tzedec Synagogue in Toronto, said in a Jewish Tribune article that Morgentaler used “specious and dishonourable arguments” in suggesting that abortion has helped rid society of unwanted children.

“This venture, on the doctor’s part, into the disreputable field of eugenics smacks – with the obvious differences being recognized – of the Nazis’ euthanasia project, in which mentally disturbed children and adults were ‘disappeared’ by the authorities to create a healthier German population,” he said.

Ages also attacked Morgentaler’s use of the Holocaust to buttress a “bizarre” argument in favour of abortion. “Using the Holocaust to justify abortion is not merely fuzzy thinking, it approaches blasphemy,” he concluded.

South of the border, Steve Sailer, writing in The American Conservative magazine, recently dissected the theory that abortion lowers crime rates in an article entitled, “Pre-Emptive Executions?” He investigated whether the U.S. generation raised on legalized abortion grew up to be more lawful than the previous one and found that “the first cohort to survive legalized abortion went on the worst youth murder spree in American history.”

About two million Americans are now in jail, four times the number in 1972, Sailer also discovered. “There is at least as much evidence that legalizing abortion increased homicide,” he observed. “The sheer waste of it all is staggering. And the impact on the overall morality of our society of this Supreme Court-condoned carelessness over life is incalculable.”