M-312: Debating a study that might require a debate about abortion


At 5:30pm this evening the House will hold an hour of debate on Stephen Woodworth’s proposal that a special committee be struck to study Section 223(1) of the Criminal Code. That portion of the Code states that “a child becomes a human being within the meaning of this Act when it has completely proceeded, in a living state, from the body of its mother, whether or not it has breathed; it has an independent circulation; or the navel string is severed.”

The motion will receive a second hour of debate before being voted on, but this evening might offer the first indications of who will be supporting Mr. Woodworth.

I wrote about Mr. Woodworth and some of his colleagues for the magazine in February. In reporting that piece, I sat down with Conservative MP Brad Trost for an interview.

More now from the Record, CBC, Canadian Press and Postmedia. The Prime Minister’s director of communications suggested last night that Mr. Harper will be voting against the motion.


M-312: Debating a study that might require a debate about abortion

  1. People who use contraceptives are not confused about when a new human life starts. Science knows exactly when a unique person’s life starts and yet we pretend that fetuses aren’t people and so it’s entirely acceptable to murder them. I wonder what ‘science’ people are following when they claim fetuses aren’t human.

    • Fine a fetus is a person so no abortions allowed, instead since they are people and all the person carrying the fetus should be given the option of having a c-section at any and allowing the fetus to live of die on there awn.

  2. I wonder how many qualified MDs and ethicists will be there? And since we can’t call the creator as witness in chief why bother?

  3. Any definition of “human”, whether assigned to the moment of conception, the existence of an independently viable fetus, or the moment of birth, will be arbitrary.

    Woodworth is simply trying to promulgate his preferred arbitrary definition over competing ones, in order, one assumes, to advance his own religious agenda at the expense of women’s control over their bodies.

  4. What I find interesting here, regardless of one’s position on abortion issue, is that it comes up precisely at the moment that the government is slashing jobs and imposing decisions in a totally undemocratic manner. I see this fuss over abortion as another smoke-and-mirrors manoeuver to distract the population from what is really happening. Same thing for the debate on the legalization of marijuana. Get people all riled up about sensitive issues and they will stop paying attention to what you are really doing. The fact of Harper opposing the motion is all BS, don’t be fooled!

  5. Once a baby can sustain life outside the womb (after 24 weeks) then there shouldn’t be a choice for abortion. Every woman has a window to abort an embryo or fetus before that. I’m not religious but this makes complete sense to me.

    • What if you find out after 24 weeks (which can be for many reasons, such as limited access to adequate screening, or termination services) that you have a fetus with anomalies? It should be the woman’s choice no matter what. As someone who has worked in high risk obstectrics just because a fetus is viable at 24 weeks does not mean that they survive or it is without severe complications.
      Choice is a freedom that should not be negotiated based on individual opinions.

    • I agree 100%, as long as we offer the women the option to have a c-section and not have to carry the child to term if she does not want to.

  6. We all agree “thou shalt not kill.” People must first have life in order to then begin
    to choose. The question is when does
    life begin? Whether this comes before or after separation of the mother is
    debatable, but I applaud Motion 312 for focusing us on the most basic and
    central of issues.

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