Saturday, June 08, 2013

The Telegram Editorial Makes Mass Murderer Morgentaler “An Unlikely Hero”

On May 29, 2013, Henry Morgentaler died peacefully at 90 years of age, surrounded by his family.

Once again he captured headlines for a few more days.

On May 31, The Telegram published an editorial on Morgentaler, characterizing him as a hero. The editorial appears below.

Just two days ago The Telegram published a letter to the editor written in response to their editorial on Morgentaler. The letter was written by Dave Duff and appears below, immediately after The Telegram editorial. Mr. Duff rightly took The Telegram to task for their confused, intolerant and highly biased viewpoint. (If you click through on the link be sure to read the comments following Duff’s letter for a real treat!)

The editorial could certainly be hammered on other points as well but perhaps the most offensive feature of The Telegram’s stance is its selective censure of the truth of abortion and any real discussion thereof. The recent editorial lectures us on the fact that abortion is not pretty and that it actually extinguishes a life. Nice, tidy statement. But why not really show the grisly details of all that abortion entails in our modern liberated world? Why not report the truth?

To be more precise, why not simply report the news? The horror of abortion was recently on full display with the Gosnell trial but in all the weeks of that graphic disgusting trial did The Telegram run even one story? No. Did they publish any of the Letters to the Editor on Gosnell that they no doubt received during that time? No. They certainly didn’t publish mine. Yet they have the gusto to now paint a picture to their liking of the abomination of abortion and to name Canada’s top child-killer as a hero.


The Telegram St. John’s NL
Published on May 31, 2013

Let’s get one thing straight: abortion is not pretty. No one in his or her right mind is “pro-abortion.” Abortion, at its core, is the pre-emptive extinguishment of a human life.

The question that’s launched a million protests — and starkly divided citizens in civilized countries around the world — is whether it’s tolerable.

Some see it as murder, plain and simple. Others consider it a necessary evil.

When The Telegram posted on its website Wednesday the news that abortion rights activist Henry Morgentaler was dead at the age of 90, the decision was quickly made to turn off comments.

The reason? Because it was clear the most angry, graphic and ultimately unpublishable remarks would most frequently come from anti-abortion activists. Rejecting them would lend unfair weight to abortion rights advocates’ voices. And this is an issue wherein the balance of opinion plays a key role.

Morgentaler is an unlikely hero. He wasn’t an astronaut or a balladeer (or both in one). He didn’t invent the polio vaccine or usher in medicare.

What he did do was stand up for the right of women to make their own difficult decisions about their own bodies. In doing so, he made it possible for them to avoid expensive trips across the border, or risky trips to back-alley butchers. He gave them the dignity to choose.

For that, he was both hailed and reviled. He was briefly jailed in the 1970s, and remained forever vigilant against threats on his own life, both before and after Canada’s abortion law was struck down in 1988.

Morgentaler, who was born in Poland and moved to Canada after the Second World War, once said his five-year detention in Nazi concentration camps helped steel him for the tumultuous legal battles he faced.

And yes, he made a lot of money doing what he did. You can make a lot of money in any medical field.

The abortion debate stems from two fundamental values. On the one hand, modern democracies tirelessly defend the individual’s right to freedom and dignity. On the other, we treasure human life in all its imperfections.

Those notions are inherently incompatible at the juncture of conception, where the rights of the woman and fetus become hopelessly entangled.

Metaphysical conundrums are one thing. But there are simple, pragmatic considerations that often get lost in the polarized rhetoric over abortion.

Women will get abortions no matter what. That has always been the case, and has been the main impetus for at least partially decriminalizing abortion from the beginning.

Millions of Canadians — perhaps the vast majority — believe abortion is wrong. It is something they would never do, nor would they ever condone it.

But in a pluralistic society, many also realize that pragmatism is often the safest course. They know that in matters of life and death, the only thing certain is that a dichotomy will inevitably arise, and a solution will remain elusive.

Such people are both pro-life and pro-choice. And somewhere in that murky middle ground, a way forward can be found.


A different view on Dr. Henry Morgentaler

The Telegram (St. John’s)
Jun 6 2013

I write concerning the editorial “An unlikely hero,” written after the death of Henry Morgentaler.

This editorial lacks focus because the editor is confused. The author writes in paragraph one “abortion is a pre-emptive extinguishment of a human life,” then contradicts himself in paragraph seven when he says “what he did was stand up for the right of women …”

If Morgentaler extinguished human life, he did not stand up for women and he is not a hero. The writer can’t have it both ways. He is confused. He wants his cake and he wants to eat it, too.

Over 100,000 people each year will never walk our streets; will not be part of our workforce; will not contribute anything to make Canada better due to this man’s efforts. Shame on him! Anyone who spends their life removing children from this Earth in such a barbaric manner is not a hero.

Further, in the sentence “What he did…” the editor shows his pro-abortion bias. Before Morgentaler, everybody — men, women, children, unborn — all had the right to choose. Everybody chose life; they valued life. All Canadians were protected from conception to natural death.

Morgentaler savaged this situation, took this right from men, children and the unborn.

He restricted it only to women. He took a human rights issue and reduced it to a women’s issue.

Abortion is killing; it is not murder. It is not a necessary evil; car accidents and drunk driving are necessary evils but we educate to prevent them and the police enforce laws to ensure we know these are wrong.

For some, abortion is seen as a right. Abortion advocates are proud of the “right” but hide it, in shame, behind other words, such as “the choice,” “freedom to choose,” yet refuse to admit, in their shame, what that choice is — ending a human life. 

Morgentaler now answers to God, who regarded every child conceived as a blessing to redeem us and give us another chance to better ourselves.

Apparently, for the editorial’s writer, the most despicable sin is the writing of graphic, unpublishable remarks.

For a columnist, this desecrates the written word and shows intolerance.

There is no greater sin. Killing unborn/not killing unborn is reduced to a difference of opinion. A necessary evil to be tolerated. What utter nonsense!

Shame on this editor.

When Dr. Bernard Nathanson headed the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Association, they needed the press onside. The myth of back-alley abortion was concocted to sell abortion. It was a lie.

Nathanson died a pro-life advocate. Editor, Nathanson would be proud. You bought his “back-alley” and “necessary evil” lies. Lies, over time by media, cemented into fact. I can hear Nathanson laughing. Choice is only productive when it’s restored for all Canadians.

Many remember a pre-Morgentaler, abortion-free Canada. The right to choose belongs to all Canadians, from conception to natural death.

David M. Duff
St. John’s

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