Stephen Woodworth's challenge

A new statement from the Conservative backbencher in his quest to start a national debate about abortion.

MP Stephen Woodworth is challenging those who disagree with his description of Canada’s 400 year old definition of human being to prove him wrong.  “I’ve pointed out that Canada’s definition of human being was formulated more than 400 years ago and says that a child is not a human being in Canada until the moment of complete birth.  Those are the plain words of Section 223, and no one is allowed fundamental human rights if they are not a human being.  If that isn’t true, prove it”, he says.

Woodworth says he is pursuing hints that the Canadian definition of human being might have originated in the twelfth century, which would make it almost 900 years old. “I’ve concluded that 21st Century modern medical science informs us that children are certainly human beings before the moment of complete birth”, he says, challenging those who disagree to produce medical evidence which supports the existing Canadian law.

Woodworth proposes that Parliament has a duty to examine Canada’s existing 400 year old definition of a human being because of its important implications. “If there’s justification for a law which defines anyone as less than a human when that person is clearly a human being, let Canadians hear it.  If there’s a principled reason why Parliament has no duty to update this 400 year old law which has such important consequences, let’s hear it”.

Woodworth asserts that while Section 223 is relevant to the abortion issue, it has much wider implications for Canadian law.  “A law which denies that someone is a human being without any principled justification or scientific basis is not a just law”, he states. He believes a respectful dialogue about the principles and evidence which inform a law that decides who is a human being will help to reconcile views.

Woodworth will decide by February how to pursue his proposal that Parliament study whether the Canadian definition of human being is justified by 21st Century modern medical science and principle.

Mr. Woodworth has at least one supporter in the Conservative caucus.

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