I asked Stephen Woodworth if he had any comment on today’s reports. Here is his response.
As you know, caucus conversations are held in confidence. I expect there is healthy debate about Motion 312 by all MPs.
Motion 312 does not force the PM to break his promise not to “reopen the debate on abortion” for several reasons. The PM at no time committed to restrain Private Member’s Business about abortion or about section 223. That would have contradicted both Parliamentary practice and our Party’s policy. Also, of course, the question of universal human rights raised by Motion 312 is much more fundamental than the issue of abortion.
I have a high regard for the PMs leadership, whether or not we agree about section 223. It is possible to disagree respectfully while acknowledging the PMs leadership role. That doesn’t reflect negatively on anyone.
All of our discussions to date in Parliament about Motion 312 have been a healthy and democratic expression of Parliamentary debate. Parliament is all about finding consensus amid passionate debate. No one should feel there’s anything amiss about that.
I would also like to point out that Motion 312 isn’t about” when life begins,” but about evidence bearing on our 400 year old legal definition of when a child becomes a human being. It is about whether basic human rights are universal or a gift of the state, subject to cancellation by a decree such as may be found in subsection 223(1). It is about proposing a mere study of modern evidence about a 400 year old law.
As to the question of why he moved his motion back in the order of precedence, Mr. Woodworth explains that his mother has been very ill of late and he “very much needed to ease up a bit.”