Author’s note: The following blog post is written for Canadians in my capacity as president of Campaign Life Coalition, Nova Scotia.
The date is set: On Sept. 26th Woodworth’s motion to reconsider the humanity of the unborn child faces a decisive vote. If it gets 50% of MPs behind it, then it moves to committee. If not then it dies.
So now’s the time for a final push to lobby our MPs, and get friends and family to do the same.
Write your MPs, the Prime Minister, and Justice Minister Rob Nicholson, preferably by mail but e-mail if necessary. See the links for contact info. Visit your MP if possible or give him or her a call.
It’s important for you to make contact yourself. But then you need to encourage your friends and family to do it too.
Share this blog post on Facebook and Twitter with a note encouraging your contacts to take action.
When you’re writing your MP, consider the following talking points:
- Canada has had no law regulating abortion since section 251 of the Criminal Code was struck down by the Supreme Court in 1988. Despite the fact that the court called on Parliament to enact a new law, it’s been nearly 25 years.
- Canadians are woefully unaware that Canada lacks an abortion law, but when told, they clearly don’t support the status quo: An Abacus Data poll in May 2011 found that 59% of Canadians want some form of restrictions on abortion.
- Canada’s failure to act on abortion is in violation of our international agreements. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Canada has ratified, calls on governments to “provide legal protection before as well as after birth.”
- Woodworth’s motion is merely calling for a close examination of the scientific evidence supporting or opposing the humanity of the unborn child. Clearly our politicians want to base our laws on solid evidence, so it would seem fitting to give it a close look.
Since the motion is to examine the scientific evidence, it’s also worth noting that embryologists and other scientists who have no vested interest in the public debate have been clear that life begins at conception.
Here are some compelling statements by experts you might consider using, taken from Randy Alcorn’s ProLife Answers to ProChoice Arguments:
- “The [single-cell zygote] results from fertilization of an oocyte by a sperm and is the beginning of a human being.” – Dr. Keith L. Moore, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 2nd Edition
- “From the moment of fertilization, that is from the earliest moment of biologic existence, the developing human being is alive, and entirely distinct from the mother who provides nourishment and protection. From fertilization to old age, it is the same living human being who grows, develops, matures and eventually dies. This particular human being, with his or her characteristics, is unique and therefore irreplaceable.” – Dr. Jerome Lejeune, considered the “father” of modern genetics
- “By all the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception.” – Prof. Hymie Gordon, Mayo Clinic
- “It is incorrect to say that biological data cannot be decisive. … It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception. Our laws, one function of which is to help preserve the lives of our people, should be based on accurate scientific data.” – Prof. Micheline Matthews-Roth, Harvard University Medical School
Finally, consider Stephen Woodworth’s main talking point: “Don’t accept any law that says some human beings are not human beings!”
Now, the obvious question on all our minds is: what chance does the motion have of passing?
Stephen Woodworth himself apparently has low expectations. Asked by Macleans, he said, “I really can’t say for sure, but I am not optimistic that it will even approach 50% unless there is a sudden resurgence among Members of Parliament of a commitment to the ideal of universal human rights.”
But that doesn’t mean we should back off. Not at all. Obviously Woodworth himself hasn’t – he’s still travelling the country talking up the motion.
Of course our ultimate goal is to pass strong pro-life legislation but even if we’re not ready to do that yet, our political efforts are crucial to educating the public and our politicians. Every new motion or bill keeps the issue in the public consciousness and ensures our nation never forgets the horror perpetrated under our very noses.
And we can at least be right in our own conscience, knowing that we did all we could.