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Woodworth says he has support for anti-abortion motion

By Charlotte Prong Parkhill
Kitchener Post staff

Kitchener Centre MP Stephen Woodworth has tabled a new motion that echoes the intent of Motion 312, which was widely seen as an anti-abortion measure.

Motion 312 was defeated in the House of Commons in 2012, though 91 MPs supported it. It asked that a special committee be formed to examine whether a fetus has rights before the moment of its birth.

Motion 476, which Woodworth tabled last week, asks that Canadian law recognize the equal worth and dignity of everyone who is a human being.

It’s unlikely that Woodworth will be able to introduce the motion himself, because he’s already had his chance at a private member’s bill.

“This is really more a case of drawing a line in the sand and offering it to the House of Commons in the hope that (another MP) might pick it up,” he said.

He could also raise the matter himself, but it would require unanimous consent in order to move on to a debate and vote. It’s unlikely to get unanimous consent, given that Prime Minister Stephen Harper has repeatedly said he does not want to reopen the abortion debate.

Woodworth said he’s satisfied he has the support of the majority of his Kitchener Centre constituents, based on feedback, but he doesn’t have any numbers.

Joyce Arther, executive director of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, said Woodworth’s new motion is a waste of taxpayers’ time and isn’t going anywhere.

“Does he think we’re stupid? Obviously it’s about abortion. It’s completely absurd,” she said.

She also called the move hypocritical.

“If he cares about human rights, why does he want to take away the rights of pregnant women?”

Arthur said Woodworth could better serve the cause of human rights by working on issues such as poverty and racism.

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