The passing of abortion pioneer Henry Morgentaler has provoked many reactions on all fronts of the abortion fight. The Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada rejoiced darkly that Morgentaler “did not ‘repent’ or have a ‘deathbed conversion,’ or make things ‘right with his maker.’” My colleague Stephanie Gray noted that Dr. Morgentaler’s death necessitates, as the passing of any fellow human does, an examination of what we are doing with our brief allotment of time on Earth. As I reflect on the death of a man who championed the eradication of nearly a quarter of our generation, I can’t help but see his passing as somewhat symbolic.
For fulltime anti-abortion activists, it is hard not to pause and consider an event such as this with strange feelings. Dr. Henry Morgentaler’s tragic Supreme Court victory that struck down all abortion laws in Canada took place on January 28, 1988. I was only two months old in utero, blissfully unaware of events taking place that would, decades later, determine my own career path.
A number of my colleagues noted that Dr. Morgentaler passed away exactly one year after the launch of the New Abortion Caravan in Vancouver, which hijacked the 1970 Abortion Caravan that Canada’s abortion activists’ claim paved the way to Morgentaler’s victory in 1988. This new caravan heralded not the death of a generation, but the resistance of the survivors. In a sense, Morgentaler’s death symbolizes the end of an era—pro-life activists, predominantly young people who have survived the abortion regime he fought for, are now prepared to do the work it will take to reclaim Canadian culture.
It’s not easy work, and it’s not always exciting work. We’ve dropped postcards in mailboxes from Vancouver to Ottawa, changed the perspectives of high school students across the country, and brought the truth about abortion to campuses from Simon Fraser University to Carleton U. People are responding by changing their minds and cancelling their abortions. And this is just the beginning.
The abortion ideology is the one that is dying out. A poll recently commissioned by the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform illustrates this: The least pro-life age group in Canada is now seniors, while the most pro-life age group—and the most likely to become pro-life—are those Canadians aged 18-24. They, of course, have too often seen Morgentaler’s Canada up close and personal—a country where, as Andrea Mrozek eloquently put it, “the abortion clinic is at the end of a road on which all other choices have faded from view.”
To pro-life advocates, Morgentaler is not just a distant historical figure, but a man whose legacy has brought us to the point we are today: Debating abortion on Canadian streets, day in, day out, dropping anti-abortion postcards in mailboxes, street by street, taking the truth about Morgentaler’s legacy to the highways with our “Choice” trucks, one city traffic jam at a time. My colleagues, myself, and a legion of dedicated volunteers speak to hundreds, sometimes thousands of Canadians every month, reversing Morgentaler’s work, one mind at a time.
Morgentaler is gone now, predeceased by countless victims whose demise he championed. Now we’re old enough to fight back against the culture he bequeathed us, a culture based on an ideology of fabrications, false choices, and invented “rights”—to say nothing of suction aspirators, forceps, and tiny discarded corpses in garbage cans.
The “Father of Abortion” is gone, and we’re here. And we’re taking back Morgentaler’s Canada.