Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean has accepted Frank Chauvin's resignation from the Order of Canada.
Chauvin, a retired Windsor, Ont., police detective who received the award in 1987, said he had to resign in protest because abortion activist Dr. Henry Morgentaler had been named to the order two years ago.
Morgentaler was arrested in 1970 for performing illegal abortions, but that didn't stop him. He was later acquitted, but the Quebec Court of Appeal overturned the decision.
He served a total of 10 months in prison.
Morgentaler also advocated on behalf of women for the right to have abortions. He has asked for public funding for abortions and runs The Morgentaler Clinic, with locations in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Fredericton, N.B., and St. John's, N.L., where women can go to get an abortion.
Chauvin began his charity work in the 1970s. He is the founder of Le Foyer des Filles de Dieu, an orphanage in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, for girls between the ages of three and 18.
In 2009, he received the Catholic Civil Rights League's Archbishop Adam Exner Award for Catholic Excellence in Public Life.
At the time, he said he was still considering resigning from the Order of Canada, but first wanted Canadians to "have a chance to take a close look at what can happen when an advisory council abandons a consensus model and uses the award to advance a highly divisive view, in this case the tragedy of abortion in Canada."
In 2008, Chauvin told the Windsor Star newspaper he didn't "want to be painted with the same brush as Morgentaler."