Canadian Parliament set to debate the human status of unborn children for the third time (part 2)

A look at more bizarre pro-choice arguments in the latest personhood debate in Canada.

Part one of this two-piece series looked into the pro-abortion arguments against the Steve Woodworth’s motion to change when a person is defined as a human being and allow unborn children to receive personhood status. Part one specifically dealt with three of  Joyce Arthur (executive director, Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada)’s counter-points. Each was weak. The final four are just as weak, but they also work to show the true colors of the pro-abortion agenda.

Counter-argument #5

According to Arthur, the 400-year-old Canadian definition of human being “accords very well with our modern human rights framework in which women have equality under the law.” This is the Criminal Code that Woodworth is talking about, which states that we are not human beings until we exit the birth canal. But we know a lot more about fetal development today than we did 400 or even 50 years ago. And let’s not forget that African-Americans were once not considered human beings. Just because a law has been in place for hundreds of years does not mean it should still be in place. Any law claiming that unborn children aren’t humans is completely outdated based on our current understanding of human development thanks to advances in science and technology.

Counter-argument #6

Arthur argues that late-term abortions must remain legal under certain circumstances to help women who “desperately” need abortions. The example she uses is an unborn child with a fetal abnormality. She feels that any mother who faces this tragedy should be allowed to end the child’s life. This is, of course, discrimination at its prime. It’s heartbreaking to know that a woman with such influence as Arthur has would support the flat-out murder of children who are beyond that magic light switch day of viability. Children who are diagnosed with disabilities or conditions deemed “incompatible with life” don’t deserve death by the hands of their parents. They deserve to die with love and respect when their time comes naturally. Killing them inside the safety of their mothers’ wombs is not a way to help women deal with such tragedy.

Counter-argument #7

Arthur claims that a fetus is not a human being because of the fact that he lives inside his mother and depends on her. She writes:

[The fetus] does not possess key aspects of personhood, such as the ability to experience human emotions, interact with others, or exercise constitutional rights. Personhood is a socially and legally constructed concept, and it is bestowed upon birth for very practical and obvious reasons.

However, ethicists recently announced support of infanticide for the same reasons. They claim that unborn children and newborn children are identical, and therefore “after-birth abortion” should be legal, allowing parents to “terminate” an already born child because the child is discovered to have a disability, or just because they have decided they aren’t ready to be parents. Besides that, Arthur is way off-base to make the statement that unborn children don’t experience human emotions or interact with others. Twins bond in the womb. And unborn children are affected by their mothers’ emotions, even forming their own thoughts during their time in the womb. Plus, the only unborn children who don’t exercise constitutional rights are the ones who lose their right to life through abortion.

Arthur goes on:

Regardless of the biological or medical status of the fetus, women need and have abortions anyway […] Women do not decide to have an abortion because they think the fetus is a “clump of tissue” or even because it’s their “right to choose.” They have abortions because they’re not ready to support a child right now or because they don’t want to have a baby. They have abortions because their partner is abusive or because they’re living in poverty. And they seek abortions regardless of legal restrictions or other barriers. Pregnant women know very well what is growing inside them, which is why they try to abort an unwanted pregnancy as early as possible, to stop the development of a baby they feel unable to care for. Such decisions are responsible and well thought out, and have nothing to do with a disregard for fetal life – on the contrary, they demonstrate respect for a child’s right to be wanted and well provided for.

All this statement says about women who have abortions is that they act out of fear and that no one actually takes the steps to help them. A woman who has an abortion because she lacks financial stability or because her partner is abusive deserves more than the murder of her unborn child. She deserves serious help out of her situation. Any abortionist who provides that abortion is doing wrong by this woman, only helping to deepen her pain and anguish.

Further, Arthur’s argument that women know that their child is not a clump of tissue only makes the abortion industry look like a collection of vultures that care more about the money they stand to gain from abortions than the women in their care who need actual help. Stating that the abortion is done out of respect to the child so that she isn’t born unwanted only shows how cruel the abortion industry is. It isn’t the unplanned child who is the problem, but rather the person who has labeled her “unwanted.”

Counter-argument #8

Finally, Arthur writes that the entire pro-life movement is based on the “assumption” that unborn babies are humans. She claims that the question of whether or not unborn children are human will never be answered because we all have our own views on the matter. Yet, plenty of people held the view that African-Americans weren’t human and that women didn’t deserve equal rights to men, but that didn’t make these positions right or legally acceptable. Still, Arthur argues that whether or not the baby is human doesn’t really matter. She says:

Woodworth also continually uses the word “child” to describe a fetus, which is just another “begging the question” ploy to try and lead people to equate fetuses with children and therefore accept that they should have rights. Fetus is the correct medical term and it means “the unborn young from the end of the eighth week after conception to the moment of birth.” The term “child” means “a person of either sex between the time of birth and adolescence.” Although “child” is often used informally to refer to fetuses, this is a colloquial usage that has no legitimate place in modern law or medicine – including in Woodworth’s motion.

Such a reach of an argument. Aren’t the elderly also adults? Aren’t toddlers also children? Each stage of life has a multitude of titles, but they each have one in common – human beings. Therefore, fetus, newborn, infant, toddler, child, teenager, young adult, adult, senior citizen are all equal in the fact that they are each persons in a different life stage. Arthur is right on one thing: “fetus” means “young one.” The question is – what does “one” stand for? Can we substitute the words “young human” when referring to human fetuses? Or are Canada, the U.S., and the rest of the world going to continue pretending that fetuses are nonentities that magically turn human at birth?

If you are Canadian, please contact your respective members of Parliament and ask for their support of M-312.

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