Another media apologist
Now that Heather Mallick has departed the Globe and Mail newspaper for evidently greener pastures at – what else – the CBC, the torch has apparently fallen to the newspaper’s so-called public health reporter to pick up the cause of extolling Henry Morgentaler’s candidacy for the Order of Canada.
Mallick was notorious for composing a massive piece on the cover of the Globe’s Focus section several years ago that asked the question, “Why doesn’t this man have the Order of Canada?” Without any attempt to obtain a countervailing view, the article was several thousand words of pure hero worship, praising the abortionist as one of this country’s most noble citizens, a man who had bravely brought long-denied rights to the women of the land. Indeed, Mallick in an earlier column had explicitly called Morgentaler her hero.
The effort was unsuccessful in securing the coveted award for Morgentaler, however, so when Mallick stormed out of the Globe, ostensibly in a tiff over some changes made to her regular column, the problem arose as to who would take up the cause and continue to fill the pages of the newspaper with more one-sided propaganda propping up an individual in dire need of it.
Enter Andre Picard. Although not a blatant propagandist for Morgentaler until recently, the Montreal resident could be counted on to consistently provide a pro-abortion slant to his writings, having composed pieces on abortion funding, access and the like. But it was the 20th anniversary of the R. vs. Morgentaler Supreme Court decision in January, Mallick’s absence from the Globe and the fact that Morgentaler has suffered a severe stroke and could be in his final days that prompted Picard to move into high gear.
“Morgentaler’s monumental battle worthy of the Order of Canada...” Picard began in the Jan. 31 edition of the Globe, in a piece eerily reminiscent of Mallick’s screed. He placed the abortionist into the same category as other great Canadians distinguished by their “lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the country … They have all enriched the lives of others and made a difference to this country.”
Far from finished, Picard followed up on Feb. 9 with, “It’s a blasphemy that this hasn’t happened,” an even lengthier polemic in his Order of Canada campaign, illustrated with a beaming Morgentaler receiving honorary degree recognition at the University of Western Ontario. Although written in the form of a news piece, the article quoted overwhelmingly from abortion advocates including Carolyn Egan, Clayton Ruby, Cathie Colombo and Jen Hassum.
In a lame attempt at some semblance of balance, Picard did include a couple of token comments from Andrea Mrozek of the ProWomanProLife.org website.
On Feb. 7, Picard had attacked the idea that taxpayers should not pay for abortions, while back on Jan. 24, he complained that “much remains to be done to ensure that reproductive choice exists in this country” in his piece entitled, “Choice? What choice?”
The barrage of cant from an individual posturing as an unbiased reporter left more than a few people taken aback. Several recent developments totally overlooked by Picard also caused them to wonder at what point he jettisoned conventional journalistic principles for the role of spin doctor.
A gathering before the Supreme Court in Ottawa on Jan. 24 brought together a number of women who publicly gave harrowing accounts of their abortion experiences. It was also made known at that event that 64 per cent of women feel pressured to undergo an abortion and 67 per cent receive no counselling beforehand. In addition, rates of clinical depression are far higher for abortive women and suicide rates are six to seven times higher than among those who give birth. (See also The Interim article, “The truth on post-abortion health” in the February issue.)
All of this was carefully ignored by Picard.
Meanwhile, the recently released short film “First-Degree Morgentaler” relays the testimony of Vicky Green, who says the abortionist told her “It’s not a baby” when she balked at undergoing the procedure. She subsequently cried while going through the process.
A former associate of his, now turned pro-life activist, has noted that Morgentaler used to boast loudly about how much money he was being given by governments to do his dirty work – including, as was found after a freedom of information request, $5 million from the Ontario government just for security at his Toronto “clinic.” Elsewhere, a $185,000 lawsuit was launched over an alleged botched abortion at his Ottawa clinic, wherein a client alleged that in August 2003, an abortion was performed on her at that site without anesthetic due to an inability to insert an IV. Immediately after the abortion, she claimed, she experienced cramping and bleeding, which continued for weeks. The woman was later admitted to an Ottawa hospital to have a placenta and remains of a baby was removed.
Other spots on Morgentaler’s past include his improper reuse of medical instruments, his admission that he simply flushes aborted fetuses down the drain, his method of allegedly stuffing a sanitary napkin in a woman’s mouth to stop her from screaming in pain, a $725,000 award against his Halifax clinic for negligence and more. The newspaper Le Droit reported in 2002 that Morgentaler grosses about $11 million a year from his cross-country abortion franchises.
Chris Selley, writing in Maclean’s magazine, cited Picard for errors in his abortion-related writings, including the claim that the number of abortions in this country has not increased. In fact, noted Selley, “Abortion rates soared in the wake of the Morgentaler decision.”
B.C Catholic newspaper editor Paul Schratz suggested screeds such as the ones penned by Picard may actually be the dimming embers of a dying abortion movement. “Expect to see ‘pro-choicers’ forced to make more use of totalitarian means as their sole tool for trying to win the debate,” he said. “Expect it, but pay no heed to it. The fact is, we could be within a lifetime of reaching the day when our children or grandchildren look back on this time with disbelief.”
And what of Mallick? Well, she is continuing her ways over at that refuge for leftists, liberals, feminists and extremists of various stripes, the CBC, most lately attacking the pro-life Catholic men’s organization, the Knights of Columbus, for allegedly leading the charge against Morgentaler’s Order of Canada honours.
And, of course, she has also been celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Morgentaler decision. “You’ll be hearing a lot from the Orwellian Anti-Sex League (Senior Division) about sluttish teenage girls and evil abortion clinics and how disgusting people are who don’t follow their pinched hateful rules about sex before marriage or during marriage or ever,” she wrote on CBC.ca. “Just ignore them. Have your own private celebration of the advent of the pill and the Morgentaler win.”
Plus ca change …
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