Today, as I hear Stephen Woodworth's call to reassess section 223 of the Criminal Code of Canada, I draw strength from the popular saying “Right is right even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it.” According to section 223 of the Code, (1) A child becomes a human being within the meaning of this Act when it has completely proceeded, in a living state, from the body of its mother, whether or not (a) it has breathed; (b) it has an independent circulation; or (c) the navel string is severed.
Do not be ashamed if you were unaware of this absurd definition of human existence- it is likely a discovery for many of us, and thanks to Stephen Woodworth, some light will be shed on this important, urgent issue.
Now, for all the pro-choicers out there, your first reaction at Woodworth's proposal may be scorn and anger...how could he bring up abortion again? Doesn't he get it? The abortion debate is closed, and we won it!
Although it is my firm belief that abortion is a most heinous crime that steals lives everyday, that is not Woodworth's point. Irrespective of faith, politics, or culture, the question at stake here is one that everyone must grapple with: What constitutes a human being? To the pro-choice side, Woodworth may look like a pro-life stinker, but he is nonetheless right in contesting our current definition of when a "child" becomes human.
Let us refer back to section 223. If a child only becomes human when it has completely left its mother's body, then it would be legally permissible to choke a child to death upon the first breath it takes when exiting the womb as long as his lower body is still stuck in his mother's abdomen. Agreed? Of course not! This definition is absurd because it doesn't line up with our most basic intuitions.
But let's get to the root of the issue: are the unborn human or not? Imagine a world where babies were born minutes after being conceived...you know that this tiny organism will grow into a beautiful baby as long as you place it into a warm cave full of nutrients and protection. Would anyone dare to argue that this tiny being would fail to become a child and then an adult? The problem with the current legal definition of a human being is that it is deceitful; it evades responsibility from protecting human life. In short, this bad legislation just soothes the consciences of pro-choicers by masking the truth. If the unborn child were properly referred to as human, then abortionists would have to refer to themselves as murderers- and a country like Canada would have to admit to the legalization of the destruction of human life.
It is not the first time in history that we undermine the value of human life. During the era of American Slavery, African American people were not given their full rights; they were treated as property to be sold and bought. In those times, slavery was not viewed as the injustice it is. So why are we making the same mistake again? Why are we treating human beings (the unborn) like property to be marginalized and sold in the service of our own ends? The answer is simply that we have the ability to kill unborn children...but it is not because we have the capacity to do something that we are allowed to do it.
To say that the unborn child is not human till he leaves the mother's womb is a lie. It is a pervasive lie that has diseased the minds of many. I urge you to listen attentively to Woodworth's proposition; though he may seem to have his own political agenda, he is opening a debate that should concern us all.
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