The Liberal Party supports a woman’s right to have a safe and legal abortion. It also allows caucus members to vote their conscience on private member’s business such as Mr. Woodworth’s M-312. I will be voting no on M-312.



We have answered letters and emails to my office with a single letter to people of all viewpoints as follows:


MP Stephen Woodworth’s motion M-312 calls for the formation of a House of Commons committee to study whether medical science can demonstrate if somebody is or isn’t a human being before the moment of birth. Mr. Woodworth’s reason for challenging the section of the criminal code 223(1), which says that “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…”, is that he would like to challenge the legal basis for abortion in Canada.

Putting all legal and political questions aside, I sympathize with many people’s reactions to this section of the criminal code. For example, my daughter was born by a scheduled Cesarean section on a Thursday. If we had chosen to have her born on Friday, personally I would not have regarded her as any less human on Thursday.

As the father of two beautiful daughters I have a deep value for life. I also place a high value on their rights, the rights of all women in Canada and throughout the world. As stated during my election campaign I shall support a woman’s right to choose.

At the same time I believe our society should be doing more to address a number of circumstances that bring women and their families to the point where ending a pregnancy seems like their only choice.

Making abortion criminal is not going to solve these problems, nor does it absolve us of a responsibility to find practical solutions to the issues of poverty and injustice that are related to those circumstances.

I will be voting against M-312. Mr. Woodworth should propose legislation that specifically addresses his concerns with subsection 223(1) of the Criminal Code, and be straightforward about his desire to restrict abortions under the criminal code.

Posted in Federal News, General |