‘Dehumanizes an entire class of people’

by Aaron Wherry

Stephen Woodworth’s motion on the definition of life will receive its second hour of debate on September 21.

Woodworth says he’s taken time over the summer to try to convince colleagues the Criminal Code “dehumanizes an entire class of people.” ”I hope that I’ve influenced people, not only within our caucus, but in other parties too,” he said … Woodworth says he believes opposition to his motion is based on the fear that even considering whether children are human beings before complete birth could “cause some people to have second thoughts about our abortion practices.”

See previously: How many MPs will support Motion #312?




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‘Dehumanizes an entire class of people’

    • Hmmmm…”Sperm are also potential people” put a rather convoluted joke into my head involving the Adult Film Industry and the film Soylent Green…

      I’m certainly pro-choice, but it does seem rather arbitrary that a completely-developed child still in-utero but just before childbirth has fewer rights (well, none, really) than a pre-mature baby born a month ahead of schedule.

      The allocation of rights at this point seems more related to residency than the biological potentiality of their person-hood.

      • Nobody aborts healthy babies right before birth.

        Most abortions involve something this big >>>>>> .<<<<<<<<<<<<<

        Late term abortions…..a political term….aren't done in Canada, and the few done elsewhere involve a serious problem….stillborn, brain outside the body….that kind of thing.

        Anti-choice loons want to make it sound like happy healthy giggling babies are being dismembered and murdered all across the country…..because frivolous women have changed their minds at the last minute….and that nobody, not the govt, not the media….have noticed this. It's show business to sell their POV….not reality.

        • So here’s the thing: given, as you say, that very very few late-term abortions occur, and then for serious medical issues, why are so many pro-choice advocates like yourself afraid of giving certain rights to in utero infants (i.e. those that are developed enough that they would likely survive premature birth). Age rather than geography should dictate what rights a pre-adult has.

          The legal absurdity we have that declares one has no rights while in the uterus exists because the more radical of the pro-choice advocates fear opening that door will mark the beginning of a slide down the slippery slope back to abortions being declared illegal. So they bury their heads and ignore common sense. And try to lump those with more common-sense views in with those they call “loons”.

          I have advocated here many times the concept of Primacy of Rights wherein we recognize that life in the womb is indeed life, and that in the later part of the pregnancy where the infant would be capable of surviving outside the womb it be given certain protections against deliberate harm [e.g. anyone who causes harm to or death of the baby by assaulting the mother can be charged not just for the assault on the mother but also for an assault on the child; the mother in such a circumstance certainly will not consider her baby to be a non-human not worthy of legal recognition by the court]. I won’t detail my proposal again here as we have argued about it before, but Mowat is essentially making the same argument.

          If there is a loon on this thread, it is NOT Mowat.

          • The instant a baby is viable outside the womb….even preemies….it has all rights.

            Now stop being daft.

          • If anyone is being daft, it’s you. There is a point at which the majority of infants, should something cause premature birth, would survive. At that point (which we should establish based on medical knowledge) the child should have the same rights regardless of which side of the uterine wall the child is on.

            That’s the point I made above and on several occasions in the past. Learn to read.

          • Viable or not viable….that is the criteria

            Learn to think.

      • It’s not arbitrary at all.. if you’re willing to admit that the woman has rights. Specifically, she has the right to deny the use of her body for the benefit of another organism.

        If we grant the government the ability to compel women into providing their bodies for use of another, then under what justification do we deny the government the ability to compel anyone to provide the use of their body for another? How can we say to a woman, “You must carry this baby to term for the sake of its life” and not similarly say “You must donate bone marrow to this man for the sake of his life?”

        I mean obviously we can do it.. but how can we do it without being sexist hypocrites?

  1. I’m not going to call anyone a loon.

    My point is simply that “life” – especially human life – exists in ways that tends to defy absolute definitions. Both at and before birth, and at and before death. Even many points in between.

    I’m happy to see such a philosophical issue debated by my paid representatives in reasonable ways.

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