Stephen Woodworth, a Conservative Member of Parliament from Kitchener, Ontario, introduced Motion 312 on April 26. The private member’s bill would establish a committee to re-examine section 223 of the Criminal Code, which states that a child only becomes a human being once he or she has fully proceeded from the womb.
Woodward said that the 400-year-old definition, inherited from British law, may have made sense “when leeches and bloodletting were standard medical practices,” but does not make medical sense today. The motion has the support of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, but critics say the bill is an attempt to put legal limits on abortion and that abortion should not be discussed since the issue was “settled” by the Supreme Court in 1988. Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Liberal leader Bob Rae and NDP leader Thomas Mulcair have all announced they will vote against the motion.
However, Life Site News cited an October 2011 Environics poll showing that 72 percent of Canadians want some form of protection for children in the womb, with 28 percent saying they want protection from the moment of conception. Canada is the only democratic country in the world that does not put any limitation on abortion. The bill was debated for an hour April 26 and will be debated for another hour in June or September.