Woodworth claims that CC 223 is a 400-year-old Canadian law that is unsupported by 21st century medical science. But, as Woodworth no doubt knows, the Criminal Code of Canada was enacted in 1892, and was based on an 1879 draft. There simply is no such thing as a 400-year-old Canadian law.
Moreover, Woodworth gives no indication of precisely which 21st century medical science he regards as relevant to CC 223. Medical science is irrelevant to the question of when a fetus becomes a human being — that matter is a legal and philosophical one, not a medical one. Perhaps, though, Woodworth has in mind some of the pseudo-science that lurks behind, for instance, Indiana’s notorious 2011 law that patients seeking abortions must be informed of a fetus’s ability to feel pain. If so, then Woodworth should be advised that the current medical consensus is that fetuses cannot feel any pain before 20 weeks gestation, and that they are not capable of a conscious experience of pain — so-called “true pain” — before 26 weeks (if they are capable of it at all).
Since, as Woodworth is surely aware, fewer than one per cent of Canadian abortions are performed past 20 gestational weeks, and none are performed on an elective basis after 24 weeks, medical science’s findings about fetal pain do not in fact militate in favour of any change to CC 223.
If not, there are many prochoice men and women ready to speak up against the insidious Contempt Party campaign to re-criminalize abortion.
And also: jj's take on Woodworth.
Grand merci to CC's tweet.