TORONTO, March 23, 2005 – The Catholic Civil Rights League ( today expressed its deep regret that the University of Western Ontario is granting an honorary degree to Henry Morgentaler. The London, Ont. university recently announced that the honorees at this year’s Spring convocation ceremonies will include Morgentaler, calling him “a humanist leader who has promoted the idea that people have a right to control their own sexuality and reproduction, without interference by the state.”

The league criticized the choice in an open letter to Western President and Vice Chancellor Paul Davenport. “This man’s sole contribution to Canada has been the taking of life in unprecedented numbers,” said Joanne McGarry, executive director of the league and a Western graduate. “The widespread, unrestricted access to abortion that he has championed is nothing to be proud of, and has been extremely controversial and divisive every step of the way.

“Assuming the views of your alumni reflect those of the Canadian population, at least two-thirds of us do not think unrestricted abortion access is a public good. I will be encouraging all alumni to stop donating to Western, as I will, as long as this award is granted,” said Ms. McGarry. “I urge you to reconsider this decision.”

 About CCRL

Catholic Civil Rights League ( assists in creating conditions within which Catholic teachings can be better understood, cooperates with other organizations in defending civil rights in Canada, and opposes defamation and discrimination against Catholics on the basis of their beliefs. CCRL was founded in 1985 as an independent lay organization. The Catholic Civil Rights League is a Canadian non-profit organization entirely supported by the generosity of its members.

For further information: Joanne McGarry, Executive Director, 416-466-8244