As Chair of the Parental Rights in Education Defense Fund, we were one of the presenters at the press conference held by the Coalition to Support Motion 312, on August 27, 2012, in Markham, Ontario. Everyday for Life Canada posts the entire speech in this entry. The Coalition consists of a number of community groups who want the government to pass the motion and re-examine the definition of human life in Canada. Here is the motion proposed in the current Parliament by Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth:Here's the speech:
"That a special committee of the House be appointed and directed to review the declaration in Subsection 223(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada which states that a child becomes a human being only at the moment of complete birth and to answer the questions hereinafter set forth."
We should all support the motion 312 put forward by MP Stephen Woodworth to re-define the meaning of the human person in Canada. Too many important social issues have been wrongly politicized in Canada. Abortion, same-sex marriage and the very meaning of a person are just a few of them. A little history will help here. It was only a generation or so ago during the mid 1960s that most new parents in Canada were given a book called, The Canadian Mother and Child to help them with child rearing. The inside cover had the name of the then Minister of Health and Welfare, John Munro.
It’s important to remind ourselves of this because in that book which written by Doctor Ernest Couture, for the government, the beginning of human life is unquestionably assumed if not directly defined. The book makes it clear that when the word fetus is mentioned the new parents are to think of the word baby or child. So, at the time, the government treated the unborn baby or child, as a person with rights and abortion was a criminal act. Today most politicians don’t even want to discuss the idea, let alone have a law that will put restrictions on abortion. Pro-choice advocates have strongly opposed MP Stephen Woodworth’s motion because they believe the issue is closed. For them “a child becomes a human being” only at birth. Any other definition may restrict abortion and they don’t want this.
The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) has recently adopted the wrong position telling MPs not to support the motion. They are more worried about protecting doctors from any possible criminal activity than about scientific, moral and common- sense truth that life does begin at conception and that a pregnant woman is carrying a child.
The CMA has its head buried in political sand because scientifically, biologically and genetically each new, unique human life begins at conception, not at birth. Everything that the new human life will become is present at the moment of conception. The current law has created the false legal/political notion that life begins at birth. However, both common law and the Criminal Code have always protected both the mother and child. It was in 1969 that the law was changed and decriminalized in the Morgentaler case; it was done to protect a woman’s constitutional right, hijacked from the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, for the “security of the person.”
The Criminal Code, before the Morgentaler case gave legal protection to the child up to birth and the homicide provisions after birth. Today we operate with a law of omission and no restrictions on abortion. But even the CMA believes that an abortion after 20 weeks of gestation is ethically wrong. A baby at that stage suffers pain when we intentionally crush it to death. We don’t need science to tell us this, even though we do have the ultra sound evidence for this….Remember the film, The Silent Scream by former abortionist Dr. Bernard Nathanson! We all know that abortion is morally wrong….especially from the point of view of the child waiting to be born!
But our current law allows for this and that is why we need a discussion on the issue, even if the majority of MPs, the CMA, pro-choice groups and our Prime Minister say they think otherwise, although we suspect that many do agree with us! In a true democracy there must be room for debate and for change when the facts, the science and the ethics point in a different direction.
Incredibly more than 100,000 abortions are performed in Canada each year! We should be asking the question about the protection of human life and the easy availability and thus the encouragement and promotion of abortion in Canada. We strongly urge you to support Stephen Woodworth’s motion. Write to your MP, the other MPs and the Prime Minister. A country that is afraid to discuss the safety and well-being of its future citizens risks its very survival by killing its own people even before they are born. Let’s build a culture of life and not the culture of death.