OTTAWA, May 10, 2013 ( – Tory MP Stephen Woodworth was honoured Thursday at the 2013 March for Life Dinner for his strong defense of human life in Parliament.


The Kitchener legislator, who championed a motion in 2012 seeking to launch a Parliamentary study into the status of the unborn, was given Campaign Life Coalition’s Joseph P. Borowski Award.

Presenting the award, Campaign Life Coalition president Jim Hughes explained that they began offering the award in 1997 to “recognize politicians for their integrity, courage, and leadership in defending life and humanity in the public square.”

The award has been given out eight previous times, to former Liberal MPs Roseann Skoke, Tom Wappel, Paul Szabo, and Pat O'Brien, former Liberal Senator Stanley Haidasz, former Progressive Conservative MP Elsie Wayne, and current Conservative MPs Gary Breitkreuz and Rob Merrifield.

Joe Borowski served as a cabinet minister in Ed Schreyer’s NDP government in Manitoba from 1969 to 1971, but later left the party over its stance on abortion and became one of the country’s most prominent pro-life activists.

In the 1980s he led the famous ‘trial for life’ challenging Pierre Trudeau’s 1969 Omnibus bill that legalized abortion. The trial brought together some of the greatest experts in the world, including Dr. Jerome Lejeune, to testify to the humanity of the unborn child. It ended in 1989 when the Supreme Court refused to hear the case in the wake of their 1988 decision to throw out the 1969 law.

Expressing his gratitude for receiving an award named after Borowski, Woodworth said the late pro-life stalwart “taught us two highly important lessons, … which we still need to remember today.”

First, said Woodworth, the trial for life “taught us that human equality and human dignity are found in an individual’s own nature as a human being.”

“They are not determined by his or her value to anyone else and they are not assigned by the state or taken away by the state,” he added.

Second, Borowski showed “how easy it is for anyone, including politicians, to do the right thing.”

“It really is easy, it really doesn't take a good deal of effort,” he said. “In fact, I would say it's actually more difficult to betray your values and betray yourself.”

Woodworth then offered a lesson of his own, which he described as the “missing piece in Canada today.”

“That is that human equality and human dignity are the most important and necessary features of any civilized democracy,” he said. “So long as anyone, including Parliament, elevates political interest above human equality, elevates political interest above human dignity, … Canada faces a very dark and dangerous future.”

“I am counting on you to take that message back with you from Ottawa across the country and drive it home to all the politicians at every level in your cities and your towns and your villages,” he added.


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