September 5, 2012 ( – Last week the Privy Council Office released an updated list of the petitions initiated by various groups such as and the Coalition in Support of Motion 312 regarding MP Stephen Woodworth’s motion 312 . The lengthy list includes the name of the MP who presented the petition, the date it was presented, and the number of signatories affixed to each petition.

“Ever since Mr. Woodworth went public with his motion we’ve been encouraging Canadians to fill out both of these petitions and we’re very excited about the results”, said director, Mike Schouten.


In the last session of Parliament on almost 250 occasions, MP’s stood up on behalf of their constituents to present petitions in support of Motion 312.

The first group of three petitions, focusing on amendment of Section 223(2) of the Criminal Code, respectively call on 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.”
  • (Download petition here)

  • consider restoring to the Criminal Code the prudence it held prior to 1968, by removing the words “after becoming a human being” from Section 223(2).
  • strike down Section 223(1) and Section 223(2) of the Canadian Criminal Code and replace it with a definition that reflects current embryological knowledge; recognizes the humanity and dignity of the child before birth; and extends full legal protection to every human being from their biological beginnings to natural death”

The WeNeedaLAW petition calls on Parliament to “speedily enact legislation that restricts abortion to the greatest extent possible.”

The number of signatories to these petitions totaled nearly 19,000 different names.

(Click “like” if you want to end abortion! )

“That this many signatures have been gathered thus far is a clear indication that Canadians have not accepted the legislative status quo on abortion – they want Parliament to deal with the issue,” said Schouten. Each petition presented requires a minimum of twenty-five signatures and undergoes scrutiny by the Privy Council Office prior to being presented in the House of Commons.

The amount of petitions coming forward hasn’t gone unnoticed by House of Commons reporter Kady O’Malley, who tweeted, “I’m told, by the way, that MPs are being swamped with pro-M-312 petitions, and have no idea how to deal with them.” Ms. O’Malley believes that the recent rash of abortion petitions exceeds that of “most” other petitions.

Members from all three main parties were involved in presenting petitions. “That a particular MP presents such a petition is not an indication of support, but we’re happy to see the likes of Jenny Sims (NDP), Scott Brison (Lib), Nathan Cullen (NDP), and Joyce Murray (Lib) standing up on behalf of their constituents who are concerned that Canada affords no legal protection for pre-born children,” stated Schouten.

One name in particular stands out from the list, and that is Gordon O’Connor. “It’s great to see that the government whip who vociferously attacked his colleague Mr. Woodworth during the first hour of debate, also stood on June 13th to acknowledge the request of many members of his riding,” said Mr. Schouten.

Schouten concluded, Canadians find the status quo on abortion morally unacceptable and petitions are an excellent way to put the discussion where it belongs – in the House of Commons.

See the full list of petitions submitted here.