The Controversial Doctor-ateWe have a situation at our university. The university is giving an honorary degree to Dr. Henry Morgentaler during this spring convocation. It is going to be given on behalf of the women's studies department because they feel that he had a positive impact on women's rights. I've been confused about this...and I was not sure where I stood till now. I guess I think I am pro-life...not anti-abortion ..but pro-life...I fortunately have never had to make that decision and thats why I'm not too sure about it...I don't believe you can make a solid assumption about what I would do until I've walked in those shoes..Push comes to shove I don't know what I would do. And then there's always the rape, incest and other extremes question.
So in regards to Morgentaler getting this degree- my beef before wasn't even to do with the degree..it was pretty superficial -I was like how dare they disrupt the grad ceremony for students who've paid fees...Etc..trying to take picos with ure parents avec picketer in the background? um no thanks. The political side of it, I wasn't sure about - I didn't really know the deal with the guy..all Id heard was he was an abortion doctor...did illegal abortions...people weren't going to give donations to the school anymore because of it..how dare the school insult all the people who don't approve...Etc. Then this lady I called from the alumni donation call center to give a 'thankyou' (only part of my sweatshop job I like) for her donation tells me that she gave her 1000 dollars FOR Mr. Morgentaler....hmm...twist....for all the people who had complained..refused to give..here was a lady who had voluntarily given for him..Ok..so then I started thinking about it..The whole story came in parts : he had opened the first abortion clinic in Montreal even when it was illegal, he provides contraceptive as well as abortion service at his clinic. And I came to a decision - I am glad they are giving it to him. Even if it was my graduation ceremony, with or without picketers I think Id still support it. And you know what did it for me...I remembered the stories from Kenya of the babies and unborn foetus's that were being found in rivers and at garbage site. Abortion is illegal at home- but the reality is that people still have unwanted pregnancies, so this is the consequence- women dying from unsafe abortions, foetus' contaminate water resources,social stigmas associated with those who are found out to have done it. The real problem is not with the abortions, it is somewhere else..And until that is dealt with...the reality is abortion will continue to happen- so why not make them safe?? Dr. Morgentaler was a pioneer and eventually through the efforts of him,feminists and other activists Canada legalised abortion. The problem remains with many that he broke the law..how can Western give a criminal a degree??! I don't know if I can really equate the legalisation of abortion with the removal of segregation in the States because one involves life , the other death and I don't think they fit exactly, yet there is a parallel- Rosa Parks- broke the law...and if she hadnt would I even be here writing this? But the confusion with paralleling Morgentaler to that is, had abortion been legal in Kenya, I could ask the exact same question couldnt I?
I have said I am pro-life, I believe abortion should only be the most final of resorts..so I don't want to praise the Dr for giving every woman in Canada the choice to control their own bodies(the reason the Women studies dept is giving the degreee to him)...I would rather give him props for giving the choice to those women who don't have luxury of choice(at least not an easy one) when they are in that situation- the rape victim, the poor depressed mother about to have her fifth child, the sexually abused twelve year old. But then I really am STILL confused because I think only God should decide who should or should not live. But it happens..women have abortions...until we can solve the real social problem that underlies this,I think my morality would be misguided. For a school that has in its tenure a professor whose research propagates negative racial constructions , I think Western may have finally done a little something I can respect. Political correctness can be good but mostly it just tends to promote and maintain the status quo...and the status quo is not quite right really ,is it?