OTTAWA, Ontario, May 7, 2013 ( – Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth has criticized a leading pro-abortion lobby group for refusing to support a motion he plans to table in Parliament. The motion would seek to enshrine in Canadian law recognition of the “equal and inherent dignity and worth” of every human being. 

Woodworth said that he has “regretfully concluded” that the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC) “simply refuses to affirm human equality.”

The proposed Parliamentary resolution reads: “That the Parliament of Canada declare that the equal worth and dignity of everyone must be recognized by Canadian law based on their inherent nature as a human being.”


“This proposal provides clarity to the undefined Charter terms ‘everyone’ and ‘every individual’ by insisting that those terms apply equally to all whose inherent nature reveals them to be human beings, excluding no human being,” said Woodworth in a press release.

Woodworth approached ARCC’s founder and executive director Joyce Arthur in October to support his initiative. Having no response, he approached her again in January. Arthur stated concerns to Woodworth at that time, but did not respond to Woodworth’s further communication. 

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Arthur told CBC that she declined Woodworth’s request because “[w]e think the ulterior motive is that he's trying to include fetuses in the definition of 'everyone.’” 

“When I bring up women’s rights over and over again, he thinks it’s some sort of sideshow. He doesn’t really get the issue, so what’s the point of talking about it with him,” she said. 

But Woodworth said, “Canada would benefit greatly if people with differing views on abortion could in common affirm the necessity of upholding the equality and the dignity and worth of every human being.” 

“Regrettably, it seems that the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada refuses to join in affirming human equality,” he said. 

Woodworth’s previous motion, Motion 312, which would have had Parliament examine scientific evidence for the humanity of the unborn, was voted down in September by 91-203. The motion was opposed by abortion advocates as a “backdoor” attempt to renew debate on abortion and ultimately re-criminalize the deadly procedure. 

The National Post’s Kelly McParland called Woodworth’s newly proposed motion “just as troublesome to the pro-abortion community as the last, and for the same reason: It’s so straightforward it belies the effort to portray him as a moralistic nutbar.” 

“What’s to dislike? Are Canadians likely to rise up in outrage at a declaration of respect for human worth?” 

Woodworth took to Twitter to defend his motion to Canadians who equate abortion access with human equality. 

Tweeted one person to Woodworth: “Human equality means that women have the right to control their bodies & make choices. Without that there's no human equality.” 

Woodworth responded: “Human equality means that every human being has equal worth & dignity. How we mediate that is a different question.” 

Due to parliamentary procedure it could be a long wait — even two years — before Woodworth can introduce his motion. 


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