The fight for Motion 312


Tens of thousands of postcards have apparently been sent to MPs urging support for Stephen Woodworth’s motion. LifeSiteNews tallied 244 petitions filed in the House through June. Mr. Woodworth says he’ll keep fighting.

It’s difficult to be optimistic about how the motion will proceed when party leaders have opposed it and “definitely less than half” of the MPs have told Woodworth they support it, he told Postmedia News on Sunday. “But when you’re engaged in a good cause sometimes you just have to do your part to try to achieve success and then accept the outcome, however it may be,” Woodworth said. “For the sake of my country, for as long as I can, I will stand up for the ideal of universal human rights and honest laws. . . . Those are the Canadian ideals that I feel are essential to our Canadian character and for sure I will fight for those for as long as I have breath.”


The fight for Motion 312

  1. I find it completely shocking that in this day and age, this is still up for “debate”. It’s about a few trying to dictate to others what they should and should not do with their bodies. It’s about power and Stephen Woodworth making a name for himself, that’s it. Women have the right to choose for themselves what they do with their own bodies. Stephen, if you want to make a name for yourself, try helping the millions of children living below the poverty line.

    • This has nothing to do with power or fame. It stems from a perfectly legitimate belief that the fetus is a person who should have the same rights and freedoms as any other person. We can all agree that the notion that someone can “choose” to kill another human being is reprehensible; well, that’s how Woodworth and the pro-life movement view abortion.

      Feel free to disagree with and critique their assessment, but don’t accuse them of being cruel misogynists who just want to control women for the hell of it, because it’s simply not true.

    • Same tired argument Jan…

  2. We have universal human rights, Mr. Woodsworth. One of them happens to be that the government cannot dictate that one person must provide the use of their organs to maintain the life of another.

    • Ha. Go tell a native woman on a reserve that we have universal human rights, see what her reaction is.

      • Are you asserting that if a right is not met perfectly and every time it doesn’t exist? You really want to go there?

        • Are you really asserting a human right can be universal if it isn’t applied universally? Or are you merely suggesting native women aren’t human?

          • You first.

    • That’s not the real question, though. During pregnancy, the mother is already providing the use of her organs to the fetus as part of a natural, uncontrollable biological process that is supposed to end at birth. No, the real question is whether the mother has the right to take a deliberate action to manually halt that process. If the fetus is a human being, the answer is no; deadly force is only authorized when one is at risk of serious injury or death.

      • Except it’s not at all uncontrollable. Hell, even the ancient egyptians knew that if you ate enough cinnamon, you could induce a miscarriage. But a miscarriage always carries more danger for the mother than a properly performed abortion.

        Also, “supposed to” is hardly accurate when you consider the number of pregnancies that terminate entirely naturally.

        But beyond that, yes, it IS the real question. Does the government have the right to force you to use your organs to support another. Whether that use is “natural” or “uncontrollable” is irrelevant. If you’re going to argue that the government has the right to force us to do what is “natural”, then it has the right to force us to strict diets and sleeping schedules as well. “Natural”ness has absolutely no bearing on the legislation.

        • You missed my point. The government isn’t forcing you to do anything. Fetal use of your organs does not occur as a result of a conscious action on your part. Rather, the government is forcing you *not* to do something that would result in the death of another human being.

          • No, I get your point, it’s just crap.

            The government preventing you from doing something and the government requiring you to do something are the same thing: the government determining your course of action. In this case, determining that you are not allowed to be the sole user of your organs.

          • I see no problem with the government preventing you from killing another person.

          • Even if doing that means that you no longer can control who gets to use your organs. Okay. That’s your belief. I disagree.

          • I’d also argue that a parent has a special moral and legal obligation to take care of their child, including carrying their baby to term.

          • Except you’d be wrong. That’s why we have foster homes — and abortion.

  3. Ghandhi ~ a nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members

    Statistics Canada tables show a recorded total of 2,838,328 abortions between 1974 and 2006. CIHI tables show a recorded total of 353,034 abortions between 2007 and 2010, which means that the total number of “reported” abortions that took place between 1974 and 2010 in Canada is 3,191,362.

    • Hmmm…That’s about 85k-90k abortions a year. That’s higher than I would have expected. I think the birthrate is around 400k.

      • Ignore Tony

        In 2005, 97,254 abortions were performed in Canada.[4] This number has been decreasing since at least 1998.[4] This represents a ratio of about 30 abortions to every 100 live births

        • That’s only a 77 percent survival rate over a none month period. (30/130)

          With those statistics the womb is just about the most dangerous place to live in.

          • And think of all the millions of sperm that died beforehand!

            Men are so careless.

          • That’s a silly and irrelevant comment.

          • From your “good book:” tis better to sow your seed into the belly of a whore than to spill it on the ground.”

            Men masturbating daily are killing millions of babies a day!

          • So what’s the deal – are you just looking for ways to insult people of faith? Because as far as AEK’s comment goes, this is a non sequitur.

          • Yes, I do think some religions believe in formincation only for procreation. Therefore, the sperm is not to be wasted.

          • With those statistics, we need better education around birth control.

    • Perhaps we should look at free birthcontrol.

      • ..add decent education to that, and I’m with you 100%.

        Of course, the sad part is that the kids who are most in need of both probably won’t get either as parents have hissy fits that their children might figure out sex isn’t horrible and to be avoided at all costs (which saves them some grief). Hell, didn’t we see that recently in Alberta?

        I might be remembering wrong, but I thought our government not so long ago passed a law that specifically allowed parents to exempt their kids from sexual education being done at school.

  4. Are women not human? What about women’s rights?

    • And behold, the pink elephant sitting in the middle of the room.

    • How is recognizing some rights for the unborn taking away from women’s rights? I hear all the “backdoor” fear-mongering, but I haven’t seen anyone point out exactly how this bill will prevent women from seeking abortions. If you have something that proves me wrong on this, quote away; I’d love to see it.

      Far too many pro-choice are as hard-headed and uncompromising in their stance as the pro-lifers. Both groups of zealots need to give their heads a shake.

      I really don’t think this bill has a hope in hell of passing, but we really need some way of allowing certain rights of protection to late-term fetuses. Right now, the determinant of their legal status is geography (in the womb or out) for humans at the same degree of gestation. That’s like determining your humanness based on how far above sea level you reside.

      We Canadians need to grow up and have a mature discussion about this.

      • Just wondering what your view of the “end of the road” is. And, from a “practical” perspective, how is ti different than today?

        • See my reply to Kim, below.

          The difference is that the unborn child, in the latter stages of pregnancy, would have essentially the same legal protections as a preemie. The exception would be when the mother and doctor decide to abort (and let’s face it, at that late stage, such a decision is almost certain to be due to imminent danger to the mother).

          There have been cases where unborn infants have been killed and there was no legal recourse to the parents for the loss. Those parents grieve as much as would the parents of a preemie – but the murder of a preemie has legal consequences; the killing of the unborn does not. Similarly, there would be legal recourse for, say, harm caused by an auto accident.

          In short, it would eliminate the legal absurdity we have today.

          • Thanks.

            I understand where you are coming from, and, FWIW, I’d be supportive of such legislation.

            Thanks again.

          • If we’re willing to pass laws guaranteeing that all people have full and sole control over the use of their bodies, and that includes denying that use — even if that use is necessary to preserve the life of another person, then I’m fully on board with declaring humanity to occur from conception onward. But the first part needs to happen before I’m willing to consider the second.

            In fact, this strikes me as the ideal situation, as those parents who want their children get all the protections you ascribe from the moment of conception, and those parents who, for whatever reason, do not feel capable of bringing a child to term, can make that decision as well.

          • That’s basically what I was going for. I set the threshold for legal rights at the third trimester because that roughly coincides with when the baby might potentially survive as a preemie – so assigning essentially the same rights regardless of which side of the uterine wall the child is on seemed the easiest route.

            Following the primacy of rights approach I described, you could potentially give certain legal rights back to conception if the parents wish to keep the child – but that would be a much harder “sell” as there would be a lot of pro-choice advocates who would think it was a back-door attempt at ending abortions no matter what one’s intent. So potential for survival outside the womb seemed like the threshold that would be palatable.

      • By redefining when life begins has a direct affect on what choices a woman can make regarding her fetus. If the motion passes and they determine that life begins at conception, essentially having an abortion would equate to murder and therefore would have the legal consequences of such.

        We are uncompromising because this motion is asking us to give up our personal reproductive choices. Fetuses don’t have rights. Mothers do.

        This topic shouldn’t even be renegotiated.

        • Life begins when it begins – at conception. That’s basic biology. Anyone who would argue differently loses all credibility.

          The real question is: when should legal rights accrue? And whose rights trump whose?

          I’ve posted many times on the idea of primacy of rights; the mother’s rights, as host and as the life that has already proven itself to be viable, should come first. She should have the unfettered right to choose not to host that life – but if she chooses to do so, then I think that life should itself gain some protections under law once it reaches a point where it could in all likelihood survive outside the womb – say, by the third trimester. It would provide both criminal and civil protection against negligent or deliberate harm; i.e. with the exception of medical decisions between mother and doctor, the child would have the same legal rights within the womb at that point as if it were a preemie.

          That’s my position on the issue. So I ask you:

          1) How is this asking a woman to give up reproductive rights?

          2) You say fetuses should not have rights. Why should a preemie have rights and not an in utero child at the same gestational stage of development? Do you advocate taking away all rights for the preemie until it reaches a certain age? Or do you genuinely advocate geography as the proper determinant of when someone should be deemed human under the law?

          I’m not at all sure that this private member’s bill properly deals with the issue. But saying “This topic shouldn’t even be renegotiated” is an incredibly close-minded and emotional approach to an issue that need not be as complicated as many seem to think.

      • Under current law, the unborn baby has zero rights.

        A person could assault a pregnant woman on the way to the hospital for delivery with a baseball bat, kill the baby and only wound the woman, and receive no criminal charge for killing the baby.

        How’s that for Canadian justice??

        That the status quo that Harper is fighting for.

  5. I wonder if Woodworth’s “ideal of universal human rights” upon which he nobly justifies his legislative initiative includes humans like Omar Khadr?

  6. What I find appalling is how people talk about women’s rights? What happened to cause and effect, sowing and reaping? If you choose to have sex, you risk getting pregnant. Being pregnant is a potential consequence of having sex. You are pregnant because of a choice you made. What is being asked for and preached is not women’s rights, its the ability to “ctrl-z-undo” a portion of their life so they can keep on living the way that they want to. When did rights replace responsibility? When did choice replace consequence?

    • When did memory loss replace your brain?

      • What does that even mean?

        • It means abortion has been discussed for over half a century, yet you don’t even remember rape and incest.

          Or the man’s role.

          Or the fact it’s not your body.

          • Rape and incest? How many abortions are due to rape and incest compared to the number out of pure “choice and rights”. Asking “what of rape and incest” is like asking “What about cancer?” when discussing marijuana legalization (which yes, I oppose also). There are principles and rules and there are potential for exceptions, but we need not throw out the rules and principles in entirety just to allow for exceptions,

            What of the man? I agree, the man also has a large role in the process, and every guy I meet that tells me he has a child somewhere he doesn’t support I smack up the head, tell him he does not deserve his balls and that he should go find his kid. I do not condone in any way men making and abandoning kids, that is disgraceful and cowardly.

            Its not my body? Ok fair enough, but I when a child is conceived (and his life begins at that moment) “your body” becomes a shared body. And again, (save for the above excurses on exceptions) you have a responsibility to live with and deal with the consequences of your actions, in this case a potential pregnancy. When I choose to speed, I give up the right to choose what I do with the amount of my potential speeding ticket because a ticket is the consequence of that choice to speed.

          • Look dude….take it to church.

            I’m not interested in your beliefs, and neither is anyone else.

          • I did not even bring church into the discussion, but I’m flattered that you noticed :)

          • I always notice religious insanity.

            Keep your rosaries off my ovaries.

          • Love it.

          • Hey, hey, ho, hum,

            Emily’s chants are really dumb.

          • So is your religious insanity.

          • Same tired chant…same tired argument Em…

          • No, and your assertion doesn’t change that.

            Keep your beliefs off my body. MYOB

          • Emily, You speak for everyone else too? Wow! What’s your pulpit?

          • Canadians aren’t interested. It’s over. Go home.

          • Emily, In fact, Canadians are interested, and they already believe in the vast majority that unborn children deserve protection.

            Below is a quote from MP Stephen Woodworth from his House of Commons speech on Apr 26, 2012:

            “In fact, almost 80% of Canadians think our law already recognizes the interests and rights of children after the second trimester. They are not aware that our 400-year-old definition of human being actually strips away such rights. When informed, over 70% of Canadians say they believe our law should recognize the rights of children at least during the third trimester of their development.”


            Perhaps you should read up on the facts before you misrepresent the facts again.

          • I would be REALLY interested to know how many abortions are occuring “after the second trimester”…..that aren’t required in some way for the safety of the mother OR because the fetus isn’t going to survive if born that early. You are talking about abortions after the 6th month of pregnancy. Let’s not pretend there are alot of abortions happening in the third trimester in Canada. Be honest most is not all occur because the fetus is not viable and the only way to keep the mother healthy is to abort the pregnancy. Sometimes physicians cannot wait for nature to take its course. You cannot make it illegal for them to end the pregnancy when the mother’s health and/or ability to conceive and carry more children is at risk. Perhaps you should understand the facts before you misrepressent them. You are trying to manipulate the attitudes of Canadians by scare-mongering. The truth of the matter is that almost all therapeutic abortions occur in the first trimester, prior to the end of the 12th week of pregnancy.

          • If you think the intent is to prevent abortions in the third trimester then one of us is seriously misinformed.

            By the third trimester, preemies usually survive. Those preemies have rights under law. Babies at he same stage of gestation within the womb have no rights. Thus, the law defines whether or not one is legally human based on geography rather than on stage of development – a truly absurd notion.

            While the child is in the womb, the mother’s health should take primacy over that of the unborn child. But the child should otherwise be entitled to most of the rights available to the preemie – notably, protection from deliberate or negligent harm. A person who kills a preemie can be charged with murder. A person who kills a child at the same gestational stage but in the womb can be charged for the attack on the mother but not for the murder of the child, as the child in the womb is not legally a person.

            The current state of the law is untenable. I admittedly haven’t looked closely at the proposed law because I don’t think it has a chance of passing. But we really need a law that eliminates the legal absurdity we currently have.

          • Exactly. Why would a woman wait until her pants don’t fit anymore to have the procedure? I don’t know the numbers in Canada, but I do know that 3rd trimester abortions are extremely rare and generally involve problems with the pregnancy. Not sure where to get good stats on it though.

          • But… there is no law against having sex for pleasure.
            We make decisions that have bad consequences all of the time – some you live with, some you adjust, some you erase. That’s how life works.
            You painted the house pink by accident?! Well, gotta live with the consequences. Nothing you can do about it after the fact…

    • Agreed.

    • So I guess if I push your absurd logic to the next level we could get something along those lines:
      “Any form of health care should obviously be illegal, because when you cross a road, you are making a choice (cause and effect) and as a religious nut, I demand that such choices have consequences. Being hit by a truck is a potential consequence of crossing a road and I cannot tolerate that some people can live the way they want to and believe they have a “right” to get fixed and to take no responsibility for their action.”

      Maybe, just maybe one day you will realize that 99.9% of the time people have sex and don’t want kids, in the same way we all cross roads everyday and don’t want to get hit by a car. But accidents happen. Of course you are always free to refuse all treatments in the name of your misguided beliefs but that doesn’t mean we all have to.

    • Nothing happen to cause and effect, it’s still there just in another form.

      God is great because we have free will, the ability to choose. Who are you to deny Gods will?

      • Which god….whose god?

        • Well, I’m assuming his is of the Christian sort.

          My own, it seems to share some commonalty with many Gods, the above being one of them. But make no mistake, the differences far out way the similarities. For example, mine likes to dance to Gangnam Style and would manifest itself as a beautiful asian goddess.

          • Ahhh Gangnam style….perfect kind to have

          • Exactly :)

      • Bad argument. Our society is held together by saying “there are limits to free will” Thats what every single law is. And the creation an acceptance of each of them by each individual in our society is an exercise of that free will.

        • I disagree.

          Our society is held together by saying “there are consequences for the decisions you make with your ‘free will’ but there is nothing on this earth (except perhaps the ‘known’ laws of physics) that prevent anyone from exercising their free will.

          If someone wants to murder another person, there is no law out there that states they can’t murder someone. There are laws that say ‘if you murder someone you will be punished’ but there is no law preventing someone from making the ‘free choice’ to murder someone.

          • Meh. The exact same would apply to any abortion law as well. So either way, it’s a bad argument.

    • I take it you’re fine with abortion in cases of rape, then? That you don’t actually give two shits about the unborn, but really just don’t like the idea of women having sex for pleasure?

      Tell me, is it that you’re worried if a woman gets it into her head that sex can be pleasurable, she might stop having it with you?

      • First off, in a discussion where I have avoided any form of personal retort, and this goes to all posters, it is unfortunate the you must resort to name calling and “low-blows” in order for you to feel validated in your position.
        Thwim, it is about the unborn, the right to life. My statement on rape I don’t fully agree with, I would love to see all pregnancies carried full. However I understand that in this discussion (though admittedly it may seem hypocritical) concession needs to be made. People with you view point stand on the rape card as their emotionalistic trump, and I would have no compassion if I said “to hell with women who have been raped” (which is not how I feel, they need intense love and support for healing. Rape breaks my heart).

        • Actually, I feel perfectly validated in my position. The low blow was because I think people who are hypocrites should be made to feel uncomfortable and unwelcome. I note you didn’t answer the question, however. Perhaps you should have a serious think about it yourself and see if it really isn’t something that’s influencing your decision making process.

          See, folks like Tony Adams, while I really don’t like his position, I respect it. He’s actually pro-unborn, in all cases. His stance really isn’t about preventing women from making choices.

          Your stance is. It’s not a pro-unborn stance, because you’ve admitted that if the woman doesn’t make a choice about having sex, she shouldn’t have the choice to end the pregnancy taken away from her. It’s not a pro-life stance, because anybody who’s really pro-life with a brain understands that making abortions illegal won’t make them go away, it’ll make them go underground, endangering the mother at the same time. All it is is an anti-choice stance. If she chose to have sex, she shouldn’t be allowed to choose if she has a kid — that needs to be left up to God. If she didn’t choose to have sex, she can choose whether to have the kid. But she only gets one choice out of those two, right? For some reason allowing a woman to choose both of those things makes you uncomfortable. Why is that? (which is what brought me to my original question)

          And no, your stance isn’t about compassion, because forcing a woman to have a child that she does not want and is not prepared for regardless of whether she made the choice to have sex or not, shows absolutely no compassion for the woman, and damn little for the unborn.

    • And how about rape? Do you think rape is a choice?

  7. Motion M 312 can be read here:

    Some excerpts from Stephen Woodworth’s September 17, 2012 Press Conference:


    “Motion 312 is focussed solely on Subsection 223(1). That’s our 400 year old definition of human being. It says a child becomes a human being only at the moment of complete birth.”

    “Subsection 223(1) is a law which dehumanizes and excludes a whole class of people!! If we had a law which dehumanized and excluded any other class of people than children before birth, you would immediately recognize how shocking it is. If we did this today to African Americans as in 19th Century America, or to women as in 20th Century Canada or to mentally challenged people as in 1930’s Germany you would be shocked. Subsection 223(1) is no less shocking.

    Any law which dehumanizes and excludes an entire class of people is an assault on the principle of universal human rights. A law which picks and chooses who to dehumanize and exclude, without regard to the intrinsic equal worth and dignity of every individual is the worst, most unjust law anyone could imagine. It has no place in Canada or in any civilized nation. No one is safe if such laws are accepted as legitimate.”

    “Does anyone believe that we need to pretend that a child at eight or nine months development is not a human being in order to justify abortion? Does abortion access really depend upon that kind of fraud?”

    “Will abortion become illegal if Motion 312 passes? No!

    The only result of Motion 312 will be that Parliament – and all Canadians – will be better informed.”


    The Apr 26, 2012 Parliamentary debate can be read here:

    The second hour of debate on Motion 312 will occur on Friday, September 21st, 2012 at 1:30p.m. followed by a final vote on Wednesday, September 26th, 2012. (Watch it on CPAC)

    Contact your MP to encourage them to vote in favour of M-312:

  8. A fetus is NOT a person until it is independent of it’s mothers body. Period. Until a baby is born, it cannot possibly be considered to have rights that could supersede those of it’s mother.

    • You subscribe to a dictum from 1644….AND claim you’re an educated individual?

      • Gravity existed before that. Do you think educated individuals should not believe in gravity because it’s old?

  9. Should the government also intervene during a pregnancy to tell a woman what she must and must not eat, that she can’t drink alcohol or smoke, that she must avoid pets and hot tubs, avoid stress and hot weather, quit playing any contact sports, stop scuba diving… all things best avoided when pregnant…? Certainly, if the government were preventing you from doing these things, this IS a violation of a woman’s rights. If you are anti-choice, then where do you draw the line?