Couchiching Award for Public Policy Leadership
In 2005, the public policy award went to Dr. Henry Morgentaler.
"Through his sustained challenge to the equity and fairness of the laws pertaining to women’s reproductive health, and through the direct and measurable impact he has had on public policy, Dr Morgentaler has exemplified the high level of leadership required of award recipients..... more
"Only a handful of public policy issues have the potential to ignite passionate responses from the public; arguably the biggest of these is “abortion” – or the right to reproductive choice. Advocates for the right of the patient to have meaningful choice in their medical care have faced formidable opposition, including threats to personal security.
"The women’s movement of the 1960s found in Dr. Morgentaler a person who understood that women’s equality could not be achieved within the existing restrictions on medical services for reproductive choice. In offering women access to necessary services that faced considerable restriction elsewhere, Dr. Morgentaler used both his professional status and personal skills to fight for women’s rights, while placing himself at risk. His actions have brought about fundamental changes in Canadian law and to the health care system and in so doing dramatically affected for the better the lives of Canadians from coast to coast."