A Conservative MP has introduced a motion that threatens to move the Conservative government one large step closer to making abortion illegal, despite Stephen Harper’s clear promise in the 2011 election that his government would not open the abortion debate.
Kitchener Centre MP Stephen Woodworth’s motion M-312 is scheduled for its second hour of debate on September 18, 2012, with the final vote on the September 19th.
The motion calls for a special Parliamentary Committee to examine whether the Criminal Code’s definition of when a child becomes a human being should be changed to extend legal personhood to fetuses. Such a change would set back, by decades, Canadian women’s right to control their bodies and reproduction.
Woodworth has been candid in media interviews that he wants M-312 to establish “human rights” for fetuses, saying: “Don’t accept any law that says some human beings are not human beings. Nothing justifies it.”
The Canadian Labour Congress has pointed out that Motion 312 raises issues that have already been answered by Canada’s Supreme Court (including in Tremblay v. Daigle, Dobson v. Dobson, Winnipeg Child & Family Services v. Ms.G.D.F., Borowski v. Attorney General of Canada, and R. v. Morgentaler.) The law has always treated a pregnant woman and her fetus as one person.
The B.C. Federation of Labour has long supported a woman’s right to make her own choice about how to proceed with a pregnancy and has tirelessly fought for many years for the advancement of women’s rights and equality. The B.C. Federation of Labour opposes Woodworth’s M-312 and condemns the Conservative government for allowing debate on the motion.
I ask you to consider joining me in acting against this very real threat to a woman’s right to control her own body.
Please sign the CLC’s petition at: http://www.canadianlabour.ca/news-room/publications/womens-rights-are-not-debate-petition-m-312.
For more information, please visit the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada action page at: http://www.arcc-cdac.ca/m312.html.
Together we can send a strong message to Ottawa that women’s rights, once established, are not up for debate.
B.C. Federation of Labour