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Outgoing Letters

June 5, 2012

Subject: Supporting M-312 Supports Democratic Debate

Dear Members of Parliament,

What will happen if Stephen Woodworth’s Motion M-312 passes next week?

Will abortion be criminalized in Canada? No.

Will abortion access be restricted in Canada? No.

Will a child in the womb be granted human rights? No.

Will a child in the womb be deemed a person in law? No.

So, what will happen if the House of Commons passes Motion M-312? A dozen Members of Parliament, imaginably both pro-life and pro-choice, will meet from time to time as a Special Committee. They will sit down, and as federal elected representatives are known to do, examine a provision of a federal law. They will study the Criminal Code’s legal definition of ‘human being’, listening to expert evidence and then reporting back to Parliament with some proposed answers to the four questions put before them.

The Committee members will participate in a reasoned democratic discussion and review of a piece of Canadian legislation, which has its roots in 400 year old law. Some would argue that a legal definition of ‘human being’ that old may be in need of a review.

And what happens if the Committee members comment on the legal sustainability of such a definition? The Committee’s findings will be non-binding. However, the members will have contributed to a robust and coherent national discussion on what is human life and when it begins.

We encourage you to support democratic debate and discussion by voting in favour of M-312.  As a nation that prides itself on being a global human rights leader, it is not unreasonable to examine the current Criminal Code definition of ‘human being’, which finds its roots in centuries old concepts of science and medicine.


Faye Sonier, LL.B.
Legal Counsel
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada
613.233.9868 x331
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Outgoing Letters


EFC President Bruce J. Clemenger writes regular commentaries about public policy issues. The EFC magazine Faith Today often publishes articles and essays that examine such issues.

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