Last year, free on bail, pending trial in both Ontario and Manitoba, abortionist Henry Morgentaler was asked by the National Film Board to star in a film about his own life. Morgentaler played himself in an NFB “docu-drama” which described his attempt to change the abortion laws to thus provide more business for his abortion mills.
His numerous trials and imprisonments for his deliberate breaking of the law are portrayed in the film which was to be the first of a five part series called Democracy on Trial to e aired on the CBC beginning in 1985.
The film has been completed but the CBC has decided not to show it.
Bill Morgan, head of news and current affairs for CBC said of the film “…it’s a dramatization, not as much a documentary. And it is a bit of advocacy. The approach was probably one-sided in the way it reflected Morgentaler. Though it sis not come out of a treatise on abortion, it did come out on his side of things.
“Under our journalistic policies of balance and fairness, it is not possible for us to run it. They [the NFB personnel] understood that. There were no hard feelings on their part.”
The film’s producers claim that the film is a story about the jury system and one producer, Adam Symansky was heard to comment “The controversy around the man [Morgentaler] is such that the CBC is nervous.”
Indeed the CBC is possibly quite nervous given the strong pro-life reaction in the past to the CBC’s anti-life and anti-family editorial policies.
Last summer the CBC threw aside any pretense of professional objectivity and gave total coverage to the pro-abortion position in stories regarding the opening and closing of the Morgentaler abortuaries in Toronto and Winnipeg. The reporter covering legal affairs on the CBC “National,” a woman lawyer by the name of Vicky Russel, even referred to the pro-life movement as “anti-choice” in reporting the abortuary situation.
The CBC in accordance with the provisions of the Broadcasting Act must provide balanced coverage. This, the CBC did not do and many people concerned with protecting the lives of the unborn wrote the CBC to protest.
The protest was effective. Even pro-abortionist Lynda Hurst wrote in the Toronto Star [May 6,1984] that she thought that the decision not to show the Morgentaler film was made on the basis of pro-life pressure through the mail.