M312 debate: Woodworth passionate; Libs, NDP freak out over even discussing personhood
OTTAWA, Sept. 21, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Canada’s Parliament debated MP Stephen Woodworth’s pro-life motion Friday afternoon, with opponents expressing incredulity that the subject was even raised and supporters pleading for an honest discussion.
The motion, which seeks to set up a special committee to re-examine the humanity of the unborn, moves to a decisive vote on Sept. 26th.
The motion’s opponents, representing the New Democrats and Liberals, largely focused on characterizing it as a “backdoor” attempt to ban abortion.
New Democrat Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe) said she was “offended” by the motion, and described it as a “slap in the face” to women. Massimo Pacetti (Saint-Leonard—Saint Michel, Lib) expressed “astonishment” that Parliament was debating the issue, and said, “it’s a shame that we’re wasting debate on this.” And Sylvain Chicoine (Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, NDP) said he was speaking “with great disappointment” about a motion that seeks “to break down the social peace in our country.”
But Woodworth, in one of the most passionate speeches of the afternoon, pleaded for an honest discussion, pointing out that Canada “was founded on the promise that two founding nations in conflict could reconcile their differences peaceably.”
Motion 312 proposes to re-examine section 223 of Canada’s Criminal Code, which stipulates that a child only becomes a human being once he or she has fully proceeded from the womb. The committee would be charged with examining the medical evidence with a view to assessing the humanity of the unborn child.
It is opposed by all of the party leaders, including Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who has repeatedly pledged that he will oppose and vote against any effort to re-open debate on abortion.
According Woodworth, “it would fulfill our shared vision of Canada to allow, despite extreme and intransigent opposition, a mere study about human rights even if modern evidence might cause some to question our laws.”
“Or will Parliament reject those Canadian ideals? Is THAT what Parliament has come to?” he asked.
“The sweep of history for 400 years has brought ever greater recognition of the inherent worth and dignity of every human being. That bedrock foundation anchors Canada’s essential character,” he continued.
In her address, Mathyssen pledged that the New Democratic Party will “actively fight” any motion or bill that threatens Canada’s abortion regime. Noting that the vast majority of abortions occur in the first trimester, she insisted that “a fertilized egg is not a class of people,” and passing the motion would “directly place Canada on the regressive path to banning abortion.”
Pacetti criticized Woodworth’s tactic of seeking to study section 223 when it’s clear that he actually disagrees with it. “If he truly believes [section 223] is archaic, the member … should seek to amend this section” instead of forming a committee, said Pacetti. “Why doesn’t he just propose the change … instead of pretending he is neutral?”
He said recognizing legal personhood for the unborn “would jeopardize the status of abortion in Canada,” and would result in a slippery slope. “Where would this assault on the rights of women end?” he asked.
Conservative Mark Warawa (Langley) said he was “saddened” by the falsehoods uttered about Woodworth since he proposed the motion, calling him “a man of integrity, a man of logic.” He said it is “important that people in this House not exaggerate, not turn to rhetoric,” adding that he is “saddened that the rhetoric is so strong at times.”
“The question that goes to my heart is: Why is Canada out of sync with the rest of the world? Why does Canada have legislation that’s on par with North Korea?” he said, noting that Canada has no legislation protecting children until the moment of complete birth.
“A child whose little toe is still in the birth canal has not fully proceeded from his mother’s body,” he noted. “Why does our law take such an unusual position?”
“Any parent knows that a child is there,” he added. “Let’s protect women’s rights, children’s rights, adult’s rights, all human rights.”
Conservative Stella Ambler (Mississauga South) insisted “the only thing Motion 312 does is to propose a study,” and said the fact that there are differing views on the issue “is even more reason” that Parliament needs to “show leadership.”
She rebuked opponents for mischaracterizing Supreme Court decisions as though they had “settled” the issue, noting that the high court has repeatedly said it’s Parliament’s responsibility. She pointed in particular the opinion of Justice Bertha Wilson in R. v. Morgentaler, where the feminist judge recommended “almost exactly the study” proposed by M-312.
Conservative David Anderson, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources, said he had received communications from numerous young women supporting the motion, and noted that this is a “rebuke” to Mathyssen’s charge that the motion is an attack on women.
“Do Canadians believe that a child transforms from a non-human to a human being at the moment of complete birth?” he asked. “We need to recognize that a majority of Canadians believe that human life begins long before a person is born.”
If the child becomes a child before complete birth, he said, then section 223 is “actually a law that dehumanizes and excludes a whole class of human beings from legal protection.”
“Is that an honest and acceptable law?” he asked.
Campaign Life Coalition, the political arm of Canada’s pro-life movement, issued a press release immediately after the debate condemning the motion’s opponents as “cowardly.”
“Motion 312 calls for parliament to evaluate an outdated 400-year-old law that denies modern scientific evidence that proves that life begins at conception,” said Jim Hughes, president of Campaign Life Coalition. “Those who oppose this motion are anti-science, anti-debate extremists who refuse to accept modern day facts. What a bunch of Neanderthals.”
CLC joins Woodworth in finding it ironic that opponents of his motion criticize him for wanting to return to the dark ages when they themselves are defending an outdated 400-year-old law.
“The human being in every stage of life is deserving of basic human rights,” said Mary Ellen Douglas, Campaign Life Coalition National Organizer. “Those who oppose a discussion on this fundamental issue are discriminating against a whole group of human beings based on age and development.”
‘Little miracles’: Mom gives birth to naturally-conceived quintuplets after refusing ‘selective reduction’
AUSTRALIA, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- A 26-year-old Australian mom has given birth to five healthy babies, all conceived naturally, after refusing the doctor’s advice that she must abort three of them in order to give the remaining two a better chance at life.
“After my initial ultrasound I was told I could consider the selection method to give 2 babies the best chance in life,” wrote mom Kim Tucci in a Facebook post last September.
“I watched a YouTube video on the procedure and I cried. I could never do that! Was I selfish for not giving two the chance of 100% survival? All I knew is that I already love them and that every heart beat I heard I connect with them more. For me life starts when a heart starts beating and all I know for sure is that I will do whatever it takes to bring them into this world healthy,” she wrote.
Last Thursday Kim and her husband Vaughn welcomed the five new members into their family — one boy and four girls —increasing the number of their children from 3 to 8. The babies were born at 30 weeks, 10 weeks early, due to insufficient space in Kim’s womb. They weighed on average about 2.5 pounds.
The quintuplets’ story began last March, after Kim and Vaughn had been trying for six months to conceive just one more child for their family. Due to health complications, Kim wondered if she would ever become a mother again.
After what she thought was an extra long cycle, she decided to take a pregnancy test.
“I was feeling tired and a little nauseated and thought I would take a pregnancy test just to get the ‘what if’ out of my head. To my shock and utter excitement it was positive,” she wrote on a Facebook post.
The parents got the shock of their lives when doctors confirmed in an ultrasound examination that there was not one baby, but five.
“After a long wait for the ultrasound we finally went in. The sonographer told me there were multiple gestational sacks, but she could only see a heart beat in two. I was so excited! Twins!”
“I was moved to another machine for a clearer view and had the head doctor come in and double check the findings. She started to count, one, two, three, four, five. Did i hear that correctly? Five? My legs start to shake uncontrollably and all i can do is laugh. The sonographer then told me the term for five is ‘quintuplets,’” Kim wrote.
Even though Kim began to feel stretched to the limit with all those human lives growing inside her, she chose to focus on her babies, and not herself, referring to them as “my five little miracles.”
“It's getting harder as each day passes to push through the pain, every part of my body aches and sleeping is becoming very painful. No amount of pillows are helping support my back and belly. Sometimes I get so upset that I just want to throw my hands up and give in.”
“Sometimes my pelvis becomes so stiff I can barely walk and my hips feel like they are grinding away constantly. I'm finding it hard to eat as I basically have no room left in my stomach, and the way it is positioned it's pushed all the way back with the babies leaning against it.”
“My skin on my belly is so stretched its painful and hot to touch. It literally feels like I have hives! No amount of cream helps relieve the discomfort. I have a lot of stretch marks now. Dealing with such a huge change in my body is hard.”
“Is it all worth it? Yes!!!! I will keep pushing through,” she wrote in one Facebook post days before the babies were born.
The newborns' names are Keith, Ali, Penelope, Tiffany, and Beatrix. They were born at King Edward Memorial Hospital in Subiaco, Western Australia. Mother and babies are reported to be doing well.
UN rights chief tells Catholic countries to legalize abortion over Zika virus: bishops and cardinal react
GENEVA, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- The United Nations, following the lead of international abortion activists, is now urging Latin American countries hit by the mosquito-borne Zika virus to lift restrictions on abortion for pregnant women who have contacted the virus and whose pre-born children may be at risk for birth defects, including having smaller than normal heads.
The UN human rights office said today that it is not enough for South American countries to urge women to postpone pregnancy without also offering them abortion as a final solution.
“How can they ask these women not to become pregnant, but not offer… the possibility to stop their pregnancies?” UN spokeswoman Cecile Pouilly told reporters.
UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said that governments should make available contraception and abortion services.
“Laws and policies that restrict (women’s) access to these services must be urgently reviewed in line with human rights obligations in order to ensure the right to health for all in practice,” he said.
But Brazil’s bishops strongly asserted yesterday that efforts should be made to eradicate the virus, not the people who may be infected by it.
The disease is “no justification whatsoever to promote abortion,” they said in a statement, adding that it is not morally acceptable to promote abortion “in the cases of microcephaly, as, unfortunately, some groups are proposing to the Supreme Federal Court, in a total lack of respect for the gift of life.”
Honduras Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga has also come out strongly against the notion of “therapeutic abortions” as a response to the problem. Unlike Brazil where abortion is legal in the case of rape or health of the mother, abortion remains entirely illegal in Honduras.
“We should never talk about ‘therapeutic’ abortion,” the cardinal said in a homily at a February 3 Mass in Suyap. “Therapeutic abortion doesn’t exist. Therapeutic means curing, and abortion cures nothing. It takes innocent lives,” he said.
While the World Health Organization (WHO) declared an international public health emergency February 1 on account of concerns over the virus, critics have pointed out, however, that not one death as resulted from the virus. Even on WHO’s own website the virus is described in mild terms.
“It causes mild fever and rash. Other symptoms include muscle pain, joint pain, headache, pain behind the eyes and conjunctivitis. Zika virus disease is usually mild, with symptoms lasting only a few days,” the website states. “To date, there have been no reported deaths associated with Zika virus,” it added.
Critics suspect that the crisis is being manipulated to advance an anti-human agenda on the pre-born.
“Is Zika, actually, a hideous virus that threatens to spread uncontrollably across the world creating an army of disabled children with tiny heads and low IQ’s? Or might this be a willful misinterpretation of the scarce data to manipulate public opinion and legislatures?” wrote pro-life critic Mei-Li Garcia earlier this week.
“It becomes very clear that the publicity surrounding this story has a very little to do with medicine and a lot to do with a convenient crisis that is being used by those pushing for the legalization of abortion around the world,” she wrote.
Hillary’s litmus test for Supreme Court picks: They must ‘preserve Roe v. Wade’
DERRY, NH, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) - Hillary Clinton has a litmus test for Supreme Court nominees - several, in fact. At a Democratic event on Wednesday, Clinton unveiled her criteria in selecting a judge for the nation's highest court.
“I do have a litmus test, I have a bunch of litmus tests," she said.
"We’ve got to make sure to preserve Roe v. Wade, not let it be nibbled away or repealed,” she said.
That echoes her recent call to arms speech before Planned Parenthood last month, when she stated that taxpayers must fund abortion-on-demand in order to uphold the "right" of choice.
“We have to preserve marriage equality,” Clinton said, referring to last summer's Obergefell v. Hodges case, a 5-4 ruling that redefined marriage nationwide. “We have to go further to end discrimination against the LGBT community."
Her views differentiate her from the Republican front runners. Ted Cruz has called the court's marriage ruling "fundamentally illegitimate," and Donald Trump told Fox News Sunday this week that he would "be very strong on putting certain judges on the bench that I think maybe could change things." Marco Rubio has said he won't "concede" the issue to the one-vote majority.
All Republican presidential hopefuls say they are pro-life and will defund Planned Parenthood.
Her husband, Bill Clinton, raised the makeup of the Supreme Court early last month in New Hampshire, saying it receives "almost no attention" as a campaign issue.
On Wednesday, Hillary said "the next president could get as many as three appointments. It’s one of the many reasons why we can’t turn the White House over to the Republicans again.”
Clinton said her judicial appointees must also reverse the Citizens United ruling on campaign finance and oppose a recent decision striking down a portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. In 2013's Shelby County v. Holder, justices struck down Section 4(b) of the act, which said that certain states and jurisdictions had to obtain permission from the federal government before changing their voting laws.
At one time, most politicians frowned upon any "litmus test" for judicial nominees, emphasizing the independence of the third branch of government. "I don't believe in litmus tests," Jeb Bush told Chuck Todd last November.
But with the rise of an activist judiciary in the middle of the 20th century, constitutionalists have sought to rein in the power of the bench.