OTTAWA, August 21, 2012 ( – Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth’s historic motion (M 312) to debate the personhood of the unborn child in Parliament has been scheduled for Friday, September 21, 2012, the MP’s office has revealed.

The motion was debated April 26th and was set for a second hour of debate on June 7; however, on June 6 Woodworth asked to have the debate re-scheduled to the fall. Woodworth told reporters at the time that the rescheduling was done because his mother was ill, and so he was not sure if he would be able to be present in the House for the final hour of the debate.

Woodworth has argued that his motion is simply a response to the advances of science in the past decades which prove beyond a doubt that the unborn child is human, thereby calling into question the validity 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.

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“There might be some people who can convince themselves that a child magically transforms into a human being when their little toe pops out of the birth canal,” he told reporters while announcing his motion earlier this year. “However, I’ve concluded that modern medical science will inform us that children are in reality human beings at some point before the moment of complete birth.”

Woodworth’s motion does not itself propose a change in Canadian law, which permits abortion up to birth without legal restriction. Instead it proposes that committee members examine the medical evidence relating to the unborn child, and produce a report outlining the options available to Parliament “to affirm, amend, or replace Subsection 223(1).”

The full text of Motion 312 is available here.


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