Canadian Parliament to debate personhood April 26
OTTAWA, March 14, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Conservative MP Steve Woodworth’s historic motion (M-312) to debate the personhood of unborn Canadians in Parliament has tentatively been set for April 26.
In an interview with LifeSiteNews on Wednesday, Woodworth said the recent paper calling for “after-birth abortion,” otherwise known as infanticide, which said pro-abortion arguments should be extended to allow for the killing of newborn babies, highlights the need to reconsider the humanity of the unborn in Canadian law.
The MP’s office told LifeSiteNews that one hour of debate has been scheduled on April 26, after the motion was declared votable last week, to discuss the formation of a special committee to consider the medical evidence relating to the humanity of the unborn. Another hour will follow in the late spring or early fall.
Scheduling of private member’s motions is determined by the clerk’s office and may sometimes give way to other business, so the date may change, explained Woodworth’s office.
The MP is calling for a re-examination of section 223 of the Criminal Code, which states that a child only becomes a “human being” once he or she has fully proceeded from the womb.
“I’ve pointed out that Canada’s definition of human being was formulated more than 400 years ago and says that a child is not a human being in Canada until the moment of complete birth,” Woodworth stated in a press release in January.
“Those are the plain words of Section 223, and no one is allowed fundamental human rights if they are not a human being. I’ve concluded that 21st Century modern medical science informs us that children are certainly human beings before the moment of complete birth. If that isn’t true, prove it.”
“If there’s justification for a law which defines anyone as less than a human when that person is clearly a human being, let Canadians hear it,” he said. “If there’s a principled reason why Parliament has no duty to update this 400 year old law which has such important consequences, let’s hear it.”
In an interview with LifeSiteNews, Mr. Woodworth said his motion goes beyond the abortion debate, saying the evidence and principles that inform a Canadian law determining who is a human being, and who is not, have wider implications. “This initiative won’t end the abortion debate,” Mr. Woodworth said, “but may make evident that a law which denies that someone is a human being, without any relevant or scientific evidence, is not a just law.”
Mr. Woodworth made reference to a recent article titled, “After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?” that was published in the Journal of Medical Ethics, where two ethicists argue that even a new-born child may be denied the moral status of actual personhood and killed by “after-birth abortion” if the child might have been killed by abortion before she was born.
“We claim that killing a newborn could be ethically permissible in all the circumstances where abortion would be. Such circumstances include cases where the newborn has the potential to have an (at least) acceptable life, but the well-being of the family is at risk,” the ethicists stated.
Mr. Woodworth said the possibility of denying human status to a child even after birth made it imperative that parliament look at the 400 year old definition of human being found in Section 223.
The full text of Mr. Woodworth’s motion ((M-312) is available here.
Mr. Woodworth has also initiated a petition calling upon Parliament to confirm that every human being is recognized by Canadian law as human by amending Section 223 of our Criminal Code in such a way as to reflect twenty-first century medical evidence. The petition can be downloaded here along with other resources to help raise awareness in your community.
Further information is available on Mr. Woodworth’s website i am a human being website.