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Irrational logic dominates personhood debate

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A unified front of Conservatives, New Democrats, and Liberals opposed the motion
By Malin Jordan
The B.C. Catholic

The debate over Stephen Woodworth’s private member’s Motion-312 on April 26 jarred my mind. I watched on CPAC as M-312 – the motion that, if passed, would create a committee to “investigate” when a human life would be legally defined as a person in Canada – was presented to parliament for debate.

But there wasn’t a debate. There was a unified front of Conservatives, New Democrats, and Liberals who opposed the motion.

It’s not as if parliamentarians were being asked to vote on recriminalizing abortion. They were simply asked whether the matter could be investigated, as our knowledge of medicine and science has changed over the course of 400 years. (Currently, our law says personhood begins after a baby is fully born.)

Instead of a debate about the merits of setting up a committee to investigate personhood, parliamentarians took turns berating Woodworth’s motion as an attack on women and an attempt to reopen the abortion debate. No one wanted to say much about why an unborn baby should remain valueless.

Niki Ashton, the NDP’s Status of Women critic, said, “The motion was an attack on women.” She also said the motion was “essentially to reopen the debate on a woman’s right to choose.”

The NDP’s Françoise Boivin remarked that an abortion at eight months should be allowable for a woman who wants one,conveniently forgetting the simple reality that premature babies born three months early routinely survive. Are those babies persons or not?

If they are, Boivin’s position loses all logic.

Hearing Boivin talk about the need for a law to allow killing a baby one month before birth demonstrates how desperately we need a debate in this country on abortion, as no sane person presented with all the facts would support such madness.

We have never had a debate in this country about abortion. We had a Supreme Court ruling, which the majority of Canadians consistently say should not be the final word on the subject.

Why are so many, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper, afraid of debating whether scientific experts should review when a baby is defined as worthy by the state.

Canada is a parliamentary democracy. Our leaders should be saying, “Yes, let’s have a debate. This is a free country and we should be allowed to talk about anything.”

Instead politicians stand up and decry it as an attack on women.

Is Sweden attacking women too? It has restrictions on abortion. Despite being much more socially liberal than Canada, that nation has laws because it is right and just to protect the vulnerable. While that means an unborn baby, it also includes a pregnant woman.

Canada needs to talk about abortion, because right now we can’t even talk about having a debate about a debate.

The problem arising from having no law whatsoever removes any sense of humanness from a baby.
 Even a law with minimal restrictions would encourage Canadians to think of a baby as a person and remove the idea that abortion is just another form of birth control.

Here’s a hard truth the purveyors of abortion don’t want women to know: the real solution to an unwanted pregnancy is adoption.
 Women live healthier lives after adoption, and unhealthy lives – mentally and physically – after abortion.

The argument against having a debate about the debate is telling. Abortion supporters are fearful because a debate would reveal the truth of abortion, that
Canada is killing more than 100,000 babies a year for no other reason than self-interest.

We need a debate in this country.


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