Canada has voted for change. Change can be good, but when change comes with a rejection of open discussion or with requirements that MPs vote the party line or lose their jobs, then change is not good. We now have a majority government in which that majority is muzzled on their own personal opinions, personal morals, and, by extension, the opinions of their constituents.
All parties can and should expect a certain level of adherence to party platforms. One doesn’t run for the Conservatives while harbouring the belief that we should allow open immigration to all. Nor does one run for the NDP while believing large corporations are the way of the future. But issues of conscience, morals, and religious belief should not preclude anyone from political involvement.
Prime Minister elect Justin Trudeau has stated that no one can be a Liberal MP and vote pro-life, on any bill. At the same time, however, Trudeau has told us repeatedly how much he values science, decrying Harper’s apparent muzzling of scientific research and evidence that conflicted with his goals. So, fortunately for Trudeau, and even more fortunately for the pre-born children he casually dismisses, science tells us the abortion debate needs to be re-opened. Trudeau’s thank-you speech focused on his “old-fashioned strategy” of talking to people, and really listening to them. Yet somehow he failed to talk to anyone who cared about life, or at least he failed to do that listening he’s so proud of.
Perhaps Canadians are in part to blame. Perhaps we didn’t bring up pre-born human rights as loudly and clearly as we meant to. Perhaps we still don’t fully understand the implications of our “no-laws” approach to abortion, an approach that allows abortions at any stage, for any reason, whether actual health reasons, or convenience, or because the baby simply isn’t the gender we were hoping for.
But evidence such as this cannot be ignored. Science tells us unequivocally that babies are complete, unique, living human beings from fertilization onward, with their own DNA, their hair and eye colour already determined, possessing the ability to grow and develop at an astonishing rate. These little ones are developing human beings, confirmed by the law of bio-genesis, and, as members of the human family, should be treated like one of us.
Now we know even more. We know babies suck their thumb in the womb, startle to loud noises and bright lights, and recognize the sound of their mother’s voice and cadence of her accent immediately after birth. A recent study also now tells us that babies respond to music at 16 weeks, pulling their tongues in motions indicative of attempts to sing long before they are actually able to speak. Babies also respond more strongly after birth to music they heard repeatedly while in the womb. These unique, living, hearing, singing little babies apparently mean nothing to Mr. Trudeau, at least as long as there are mothers and a society who don’t want them. He plans to leave the Criminal Code definition where it stands in Section 223 (1): 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 (Italics added).
Note those italics. We aren’t talking about when a pre-born child actually, scientifically becomes a human. We’re talking about when we want to define it as such. Such moral relativism has served us very poorly in the past. When we separate legal recognition of personhood from scientific proof of humanity, we set ourselves up to commit grave injustices under the letter of the law. Consider the slave trade, the Holocaust, our treatment of First Nations and, particularly relevant in this “women’s rights” issue, the fact that our own Supreme Court did not consider women to be legal persons in recent history. To declare that someone is not legally a person is to declare them open targets for victimization, abuse, degradation or killing. When killing a human does not equal killing a person, we have lost our way.
Canada as a country cannot lose its way. Prime Minister Trudeau must take strong leadership, leadership that is willing to admit it has been wrong, willing to set aside the emotion that served so well in the campaign and settle into government where they take an evidence-based look at the issues. Prime Minister Trudeau needs to be willing to use the majority it has been entrusted with to effect real change, based on the evidence he claims to value. The deaths of 100,000 pre-born children annually in Canada are now on his head.
LifeNews Note: Anna Nienhius is the Research and Policy coordinator for WeNeedaLAW.ca.