The Tory MP for Kitchener-Centre Stephen Woodworth said in a recent media release that Canadian laws governing human rights of the unborn need to be re-examined because they are out-dated. Now I read that his fellow Conservative, Essex MP Jeff Watson, supports Woodworth’s call for a debate on whether to give human rights to the unborn.
It’s about time this debate was held in parliament and each and every member stood up and stated his position on the subject.
To be clear: no government can give anyone a “human right.” Human rights are ours whether or not our government recognizes them. Furthermore, life begins at conception, period. This is a reality of biology and no man-made legislation or lack thereof is going to change that.
Our government, however, could (and should) redefine what Canada considers a “legal person” to include, at least, some of the unborn. Currently, one has to be independent of the mother’s body to be a legal person—i.e., a person has to have been “born” to be a legal person under the law. So we are not talking about biology, but legal distinctions.
In my view, an unborn baby who could survive outside the womb as, say, a premature baby can, should be considered a legal person and receive all the protections, rights and privileges the rest of us Canadians enjoy. This is probably around the end of the second trimester of a pregnancy, and terminating a child’s life after that point should be illegal.
I also believe in a woman’s right to choose. But like every other Canadian right, there should be reasonable restrictions.
A mother could still have the right to chose whether she wishes to terminate her pregnancy, but—assuming no medical reason to do otherwise—the state should assume responsibility for the child’s life, if viable, at that point. The state provides housing and other necessities of life to murderers, pedophiles and others guilty of the most horrible crimes, so why deny life to these vulnerable, parentless babies.
Just because a woman decides she does not want her pregnancy to go full-term, that does not mean her unborn child should not be given a chance to live out its life. For a woman to decide not to have her child is one thing, it’s quite another to “kill” that child.
For the record, I am not a religious person. It’s been decades since I believed in the Christian concept of God, belonged to a religious denomination or attended any church or other place of religious worship. I do believe, though, in human decency. And, to me, claiming a child is less than a human being just because it has not been “born” is barbaric and nonsense.
If a mother allows a child to be removed through Caesarean section before the 39th week it is considered “born.” But if a woman demands an abortion before the 39th week the child is legally not born and can be destroyed. We really should be ashamed of ourselves.
Bring on the debate.
© 2011 Russell G. Campbell