I remember when I was about 7 years old, and didn’t want to hear what my older brother was telling me. I’d try blocking him out, with a finger in each ear, chanting: “Nah, nah, na-na-nah. I can’t hear you!”. It was a childish tactic, with a simple objective: if I could deny hearing the message, I wouldn’t have to accept whatever correction or wisdom he was trying to pass on. I could carry on with my bad behavior and ignorance.
Many Canadian politicians today are using the same childish tactic in order to carry on with ignorant attitudes about abortion, even to the point of denying science.
In February, pro-life MP Stephen Woodworth announced his Motion 312 to set up a parliamentary committee that would study what modern medical science tells us about when a human being first comes into existence. On behalf of Stephen Harper, the Justice Minister Rob Nicholson immediately shot out with: “The Prime Minister has been very clear, our Government will not reopen this debate”.
Translation: “The Prime Minister has been very clear, he wants to avoid all scientific facts about the child in the womb”.
Another example of a politician using my childhood, fingers in the ears trick, was the reaction to Motion 312 by Conservative MP for Simcoe North, Bruce Stanton: “I don’t support the motion… The Supreme Court has given ample position on the rights of moms and I believe we need to keep the law the way it is.” Besides the fact that Stanton is wrong, and the Supreme Court has never declared abortion to be a right, his response screams “I don’t want to be informed by science. Let’s remain in blissful ignorance!”
I don’t get it. What’s so scary about being informed by science?
Woodworth’s motion is tentatively scheduled for first hour of debate on April 26. Another hour will follow in the late spring or early fall. Sadly, the motion is unlikely to pass given the Prime Minister’s stiff opposition to “re-opening the abortion debate”.
If it does pass however, what sort of facts will the committee look at to answer the question of whether the embryo and fetus are human beings?
Of course, it’s already settled science that each person comes into existence at the time of conception (fertilization). That’s the only conclusion this committee could possibly arrive at. The photo below, taken at 12 weeks from conception, is a piece of evidence I’d personally love to set before the committee’s eyes. I’d follow it with the question, “Would a blob of tissue have finger nails?”
My advice to politicians? Take your fingers out of your ears. Face the facts. One day, science-deniers on the humanity of pre-born children will be lumped in with holocaust-deniers. You really don’t want to end up on that side of history.
NOTE: Those who wish to join the petition campaign in support of MP Stephen Woodworth's Motion 312, may download a blank petition here.