Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) Stephen Woodworth has proposed a private-member bill calling for the study of when a baby becomes a human being.

MP Woodworth’s motion (motion 312) would review part of the Canadian homicide Criminal Code which states that a fetus becomes a human being at the moment of birth. Woodworth told reporters “Until a child’s little toe pops out of the birth canal, that child is not recognized as a human being in Canada… [This law] dehumanizes and excludes an entire class of people.”

Pro-choice activists are worried that this could be an attempt to criminalize abortion, though MP Woodworth claims that it would not change current laws. However, many anti-choice organizations have supported his motion. According to The Globe and Mail “By saying babies [are] not a human being until they are born, Mr. Woodworth said people can convince themselves that aborting a fetus is not the same as killing a human being – much like plantation owners in the deep south prior to the American Civil War convinced themselves that black slaves were not human.”

Discussion on Motion 312 is set to resume on Friday, but Woodworth doubts he will receive the 50 per cent vote needed to pass. “At this point I am not optimistic that I will come close to the 50 per cent required to pass this motion, although I continue to want to meet with Members of Parliament and to try to convince them of that,” Woodworth said.

Media Resources: Globe and Mail 9/17/12; Montreal Gazette 9/17/12

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