MP Stephen Woodworth’s Closing Remarks for the 2nd Hour of Debate

Closing Remarks – S. Woodworth

2nd Hour of Debate – Motion 312
September 21st, 2012

Mr. Speaker, our great democracy was founded on the promise that two founding nations in conflict could reconcile their differences peaceably. Generations of Canadians have lived – and died – to defend the dream of universal human rights and honest laws so necessary to fulfill that promise.

These ideals created unity out of diversity and made Canada a bright beacon of hope.

The sweep of history for 400 years has brought ever greater recognition of the inherent worth and dignity of every human being. That bedrock foundation anchors Canada’s essential character.

We are here in Parliament to honour that vision of Canada. We are here to seek out a spirit of compromise amid passionate debate. We are here to embrace advancing knowledge in the service of universal human rights.

Motion 312 honours those essential duties. Motion 312 seeks merely to shine the light of 21st century knowledge upon our 400 year old law which decrees the dehumanization and exclusion of a whole class of people, children before complete birth.

About abortion, I say this: recognizing children as human before the moment of complete birth will not resolve that issue.

Even Justice Bertha Wilson, who championed abortion rights in the Morgentaler decision, wrote that Parliament should “inform itself from the relevant disciplines”, the very proposal embodied in Motion 312.

Recognizing the reality that children are human beings before complete birth will affirm the hallowed principle that human rights are universal, not a gift of the State which may be cancelled by subsection 223(1).

It would be a triumph of leadership to insist that our definition of human being must not remain frozen in time forever, immune from the light of advancing knowledge, immune from democratic governance, and immune from the spirit of open dialogue.

It would honour our commitment to honest laws to recognize a child’s worth and dignity as a human being before the moment of complete birth if the evidence establishes that as fact.

It would fulfil our shared vision of Canada to allow, despite extreme and intransigent opposition, a mere study about human rights even if modern evidence might cause some to question our laws.

Or will Parliament reject those Canadian ideals? Is THAT what Parliament has come to?

I thank, and many Canadians thank, the Members who stand with me against that dismal view.

Yet we in Parliament cannot ourselves sustain – we cannot protect – we cannot without help safeguard – this great vision of Canada. The hope of a Canada governed by honest laws rests in the heart of every Canadian. The pledge offered by countless Canadians to the high principle of universal human rights will not be overcome by any decision of this Parliament. We may safely place our confidence in the certainty that Canadians will not rest content with the perpetual absence of open dialogue on this issue.

There is no more noble undertaking than to fulfill that essential promise of Canada. Join me in the conversation so necessary to reconcile Canadians.

Thank you.

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National Campus Life Network joins in declaration of support for Motion 312


National Campus Life Network joins in declaration of support for Motion 312

September 19, 2012

Toronto, ON – Dozens of Canadian organizations and individuals, including National Campus Life Network (NCLN), have united to sign a Declaration of Support for Parliamentary Study of Canada’s Legal Definition of “Human Being”.

This Declaration affirms support for Motion 312 and the establishment of a special committee to review the definition of ‘human being’ in subsection 223 (1) of the Criminal Code of Canada. Currently the Criminal Code defines a child as a human being only “when it has completely proceeded, in a living state, from the body of its mother.”

“All one has to do is open an embryology textbook to see that the current law simply doesn’t fit the facts,” states Rebecca Richmond, NCLN’s Executive Director. “An examination of current medical knowledge on the subject by Parliament is long overdue.”

The Declaration states, “The current definition was first enacted in Canada in 1892, founded in concepts argued before the courts and the Parliament of England more than three centuries prior, and does not reflect the medical and scientific knowledge acquired over the last century. Given the high value human life is given in our society, as reflected in our social policies and Criminal Code, it is essential that the Parliament of Canada provide clarity in the law on this point which impacts parental choice, biomedical research, medical practice and matters being brought before the courts of the nation.”

The second hour of debate on Motion 312 will take place this Friday. NCLN urges Canadians to voice their support for this motion by contacting their MPs.


The full declaration can be found here.

National Campus Life Network exists to educate, network and support pro-life post-secondary students across Canada. For media inquiries, please contact Rebecca Richmond, Executive Director, at director@ncln.ca or 416 483 7869.

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M-312 Delayed

A message from Stephen Woodworth follows:


Dear Friend,

Re: Motion 312

The second hour of debate on M-312 will not occur June 7th, 2012, as previously believed, due to last minute arrangements.

I apologize for any inconvenience this causes.

The new arrangement has personal benefit for me. As many of you may know, my mother is deathly ill, having eaten little or nothing for approximately five weeks. This has taken a personal toll on me. As much as I would want to pretend to be a superman, it is on occasion appropriate to ease up a little.

Thank you for your patience and prayers.


Stephen Woodworth
Member of Parliament
Kitchener Centre


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uOttawa Students For Life: Moving Speech by Ruth Lobo Shaw & M-312

This post was written for uOttawa Students For Life by uOttawa Students For Life. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

Think there ought to be legal protection for preborn babies? The 2nd hour of debate on Motion 312 happens tomorrow, June 7th, and the vote is on on June 13th. See weneedalaw.ca and whenamIhuman.com for simple ways to take action. ***UPDATE: The 2nd hour of debate and vote will take place in September. Keep up your pro-life efforts in the meantime!

Read the comments at the uOttawa Students For Life website.

uOttawa Students For Life: Great New Videos and Links!

This post was written for uOttawa Students For Life by uOttawa Students For Life. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

From the 2012 March for Life:

Did you know Canada has no abortion laws? If you’re wondering what you can do about that, check out WeNeedALaw.
We need to ask the question: When Am I Human? These two sites are full of useful information for taking action!

This American video, similar to the poster on the right, reminds us that it is a matter of when, not if, we end this injustice:

Read the comments at the uOttawa Students For Life website.