Motion 312 and My Local MP

The late Christopher Hitchens once wrote, “…Anyone who has ever seen a sonogram or has spent even an hour with a textbook on embryology knows that the emotions are not the deciding factor [in abortion]. In order to terminate a pregnancy, you have to still a heartbeat, switch off a developing brain, and, whatever the method, break some bones and rupture some organs.” These words come from his “Minority Report” column in The Nation written in April 1989.

Because Hitchens’ words are a correct assessment of the essence of abortion, it must necessarily be banned because it is the taking of a human life. If murder is illegal, so should abortion be. In Canada, we have no abortion laws; something unheard of in western democracies. And worse, our government will not release statistics about abortion, so citizens cannot know how many occur in Canada per year, under what circumstances, and why. Under the Canadian Criminal Code, a fetus in the womb is not considered a human. And our politicians, virtually from all of the major political parties, remain adamantly non-committal.

Thankfully one Canadian MP, Steven Woodworth, has put forward Motion 312 that seeks only to put the question of abortion law back on the table for public debate. Even this bill—which is not about banning abortion—is slowly being quashed by all members of parliament including Prime Minister Harper. Not only is this a blight on Canada in terms of our country’s failure to protect our most vulnerable, but it is also a sham of free speech and public discourse.

A new website has been set up called Pass 312 that seeks to promote this bill among Canadians, and to suggest ways to help make this an issue that Canadian politicians will wake up to. The question of when human life begins, and the corresponding consequences for law, needs to be discussed both by average Canadians and by our elected officials on Parliament Hill. Please click the link, read the material, and watch the videos to get informed.

I emailed my local MP, Bob Rae, these words: “Dear Mr. Rae, I live right near your office in downtown Toronto and pass by it daily. As a member of your riding, I ask you to support Motion 312 and to defend the lives of innocent children in the womb. Thank you, Ian Hugh Clary.” I emailed something similar to Prime Minister Harper’s office. If you want to email your local MP, click here and if you want to email the Prime Minister click here. I wrote it in haste, and I now wish that I had said more about free speech and public debate. Be that as it may, my letter was sent, and here is the response that came from his office:

Dear Ian Hugh Clary:

On behalf of Liberal Leader Bob Rae, I would like thank you for your email regarding Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth’s motion, M-312, regarding Canada’s abortion laws.

It is the longstanding view of the Liberal Party of Canada that women must have the right to choose, and this party will take no step that limits, or opens the door to limiting, access to safe medical services for women across Canada.  It is for this reason that Mr. Rae will be voting against this motion when it comes before the House of Commons.

We understand this issue stirs extremely strong feelings and the Liberal Party respects the right of every Canadian to express their views freely and openly, no matter how contrary those views may seem to those of others.

Thank you for taking the time to write to the Leader of the Liberal Party.

Yours sincerely,

Colin McKone
Office of the Liberal Leader 
I am glad that Rae’s office wrote back, and it doesn’t appear to be some vague automated response. Thus far I have not heard from the Prime Minister’s Office. But I must say that Mr. McKone’s reply does not at all deal with the issues at hand, and is quite frankly rather banal. Bill 312 is about bringing the issue of when human life begins up for discussion in parliament. Does Mr. Rae have a problem with that? If so, why? Maybe the result of the public discussion will result favourably to the Liberal Party position on abortion? He won’t know if it is not discussed. So much for transparency.
I wonder if he and his party fears that Canadians will become educated as to when human life begins, and whether abortion is indeed the taking of a human life. Maybe they will learn that a fetus is a human life, as says Dr. Jerome LeJeune, Professor of Genetics, University of Descartes, “After fertilization has taken place a new human being has come into being. [It] is no longer a matter of taste or opinion…it is plain experimental evidence. Each individual has a very neat beginning, at conception.” This perspective on fetal life is affirmed by a significant number in the medical community. Consider these words by C. Christopher Hook, M.D., Oncologist, Mayo Clinic, Director of Ethics Education, Mayo Graduate School of Medicine: “When fertilization is complete, a unique genetic human entity exists.” Professor Micheline Matthews-Roth, Harvard University Medical School writes, “It is incorrect to say that biological data cannot be decisive…It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception.”
I’ll conclude with a short video clip by Peter Kreeft, professor of philosophy at Boston College, who addresses the issue facing the person who is not sure what to think about abortion. His advice? “Don’t shoot.”