I think Morgentaler was an emotionally needy man.
And I think that's why he worked for abortion.
Morgentaler came of age when knowledge about the unborn was very rudimentary.
I remember talking to the venerable Jack Willke, the pro-life physician. He studied to be a physician in the 1950s, around the same time as Morgentaler. He said he had to research the issue of the unborn, and he concluded, on his own, that abortion was wrong.
Morgentaler, having come from a socialist and atheist family, would probably have assumed that the unborn were of no account. Abortions were already being done for medical reasons. I suspect he thought that it made no sense to allow women to have abortions in hospitals for medical reasons, but not allow women to have abortions for their personal reasons.
In a way, that makes sense. A medical procedure is a medical procedure. If abortion is a medical procedure for women with a disease, why isn't it a medical procedure for a women who "made a mistake"? A medical procedure is a medical procedure. Why should the life of the fetus matter in one case but not the other?
The lack of knowledge about the fetus, coupled with medical approval and atheist stance made it seem natural to advocate for abortion.
Add to that the fact that adulation was heaped on him for his work. Adulation and approval that he so desperately wanted.
Why would he do otherwise than push abortion?
I think if abortion advocacy hadn't filled an emotional need in his life, he might not have ever undertaken it.
UPDATE: I kind of understand where Damian Goddard is coming from. I was taken aback when Brian said he won't shed a tear for Morgentaler.
No. I WILL mourn the loss of Henry Morgentaler. And I will feel a deep pang for the fact that Damian Goddard simply… simply… has not done enough to stem the tide of this… this… insanity.I was thinking about that.
Pro-lifers are people who like to rescue.
And Canadian pro-lifers desperately wanted to rescue Henry Morgentaler.
Sure, part of it was the fact that it would have helped our movement.
But I think it went beyond that.
Having had to deal with Morgentaler either in person or from afar, we came to know the guy, and we didn't want to see him perish in the after-life. We knew about his suffering and after the Holocaust, and how he had a troubled family life, and that he had mental health issues. We saw that he was a man in need. We wanted him to know the grace of Christ for his own healing.
Or at least that was the case for me, and I suspect a number of other devoted pro-lifers.
But the bottom line is, although Henry Morgentaler's may be eternally lost-- and let me remind you that we don't know that for a fact-- the truth is, he made his bed, he has to lie in it.
It was ultimately not in our hands.
We love to rescue, but Henry Morgentaler had to rescue himself.
If he's separated from God, it was his own fault.
Let me repeat: it's his own fault.
Perhaps we will have to answer each in our own way for not having tried to save him.
But his doom, if such is the case, is his own doing.
God gave him every chance to repent.
We have to leave Morgentaler's fate up to Him.