Friday 20 July 2012

Wanted: Prebornchildologists

I got a reply to my email (bold mine; underlining his).
Good Morning Ms. Hill

The Motion sets out instructions to the Committee, which will then direct the study.  You will see that the Motion poses medical and legal questions.  My expectation is that, the Committee would hear from experts in medical fields who might describe the development of a child before birth, including cellular biology, fetology, anatomy, genetics, neurology, neo-natal medicine, surgical medicine, etc.  I’m not in a position to propose witnesses at this time, but hope the Committee will seek my input when it is appropriate. There have been significant advances in these fields in the last thirty years, not to mention the last 400 years. Rather than suppressing or avoiding modern information about a key human rights issue.  I hope Members of Parliament will embrace it.  If Motion 312 passes, the only result will be to better inform Canadians. 

Thank you for your keen interest.  I hope you will agree with me that every human being should be recognized as such in Canadian law.

Stephen Woodworth
Member of Parliament
Kitchener Centre
Here is my reply.
Mr Woodworth,
Thank you for your prompt reply.

Unfortunately, it does not answer my question.

I am baffled by the assertion that you are 'not in a position to propose witnesses' yet imply that you have important 'input' to offer.

In preparation for your motion, did you not research potential witnesses? You list some fields, but no individuals or even institutions. Are the needed experts available? Willing? Canadian?

You say there have been 'significant advances'. How do you know that? What source persuaded you that this is an issue of vital importance?

It seems to me that there are two possible reasons for your position. Either you are refusing to reveal the experts you have identified. Or, you have not done the research and are proposing to waste everyone's time and Parliament's resources on a whim.

Is there another reason Canadians and their MPs are not to be told which experts might be invited before we and they decide whether to host this party?

Thank you.
Here's the relevant section of M312 in all its semantically twisted glory.
that the special committee present its final report to the House of Commons within 10 months after the adoption of this motion with answers to the following questions,

(i)            what medical evidence exists to demonstrate that a child is or is not a human being before the moment of complete birth?,

(ii)            is the preponderance of medical evidence consistent with the declaration in Subsection 223(1) that a child is only a human being at the moment of complete birth?,

(iii)            what are the legal impact and consequences of Subsection 223(1) on the fundamental human rights of a child before the moment of complete birth?,

(iv)            what are the options available to Parliament in the exercise of its legislative authority in accordance with the Constitution and decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada to affirm, amend, or replace Subsection 223(1)?
The only people who could answer these bogus questions are prebornchildologists.


JJ said...

Shouldn't that be PREBORNCHILDOLOGISTS in allcaps?

Great letter, congrats on getting a response, such as it is.

I find it utterly mindblowing that the whole rationale for this thing is built upon the idea of disseminating "knowledge" to Canadians: the citizenry is hardly well-served by the fetushists' ideologically-tainted "facts". It would be insulting if it was the real reason for M312.

Beijing York said...

I wonder if Stephen C. Meyer will be called by the bogus 312 committee? A link to an article from 1985 about the "discoveries of fetology":

Sounds like a bogus science to me! And looky here, the author is a well known crusader for Intelligent Design:

Sadly, Dr. Bernard Nathanson died last year so he won't be able to participate as a medical expert. Maybe they'll present his film, "The Silent Scream", as evidence:

fern hill said...

Good links, BY. 1985, eh? Cutting edge. . .

As far as I'm concerned, anyone who crusades for ID, aka creationism, is a certifiable nutbar. NOT a scientist.

If M312 passes, I hope they do bring him and other nutbars on.

Sixth Estate said...

I'm sure there are any number of bishops and archbishops that could be hastily designated prebornchildologists.

Anonymous said...

Remember that the only reason this farce of a bill is on life support over the summer is that another MP/stooge agreed to trade places with Woodworth/M312 before the summer break.

If it gets kicked down the line again this September, it will be fair to accuse Steve of having a hidden agenda...useless opposition are you taking notes? Call out this charade for what it is. Stringing fetus fetushists along is electoral suicide. Canadians are pro-choice, no law has workec well since '80s,


Anonymous said...

Why the sudden interest in basing policy on the advice of scientists is the real question here?

fern hill said...

Ah but they don't want REAL scientists who would tell them that this is not a science issue. They want the usual bogus BAD (biased, agenda-driven) scientists fetus fetishists have to rely on.

e.a.f. said...

woody & his crew need to move on & be more concerned about the born than the unborn. Last time I looked there was still a bit of work to be done on child poverty, children in the sex trade, children who are underhoused, children not reaching their potential, children not being able to access education locally, children being physically abused with no medical treatment. Now once all the work has been done providing every born children with a decent life then just maybe I'd believe woody was interested in child welfare.

woody is part of the crowd who worships the fetus but doesn't give a dam about live children.

I wish I could recall the words to a song written by a woman named Helda who used to run for the NDP in Vancouver. when Rosemary Brown retired from polticis in B.C. Helda wrote a song about the "rights of the fetus" as compared to live babies. It was a great song. Many who attended the function by now have passed on, but maybe someone remembers. Oh, it was a women's only reception at Rosemary Brown's request.

Beijing York said...

Hilda L Thomas, eaf. Thanks for introducing me to what seems to be an amazing woman:;rad

I looked through the collection and no song recording are included :-(

I did find a reference to "The Condom Song":

fern hill said...

Fonds and lyrics.

Robert Cannaday said...

There is no attempt to hide their agenda. They explicitly phrase the motion as "what medical evidence exists to demonstrate that a child is or is not a human being before the moment of complete birth?" They've already labelled the embryo/fetus as a child in the motion, and technically all they're really asking is "what is the definition of 'human being'?".

If one were to look at the wording used in the motion there isn't a single section where the actual questions that they would have to ask are ever actually asked -

What is the current state of medical knowledge regarding prenatal development such that:

a) At what stage of prenatal development are the structures that allow pain perception in place, mature enough and evidently functioning

b) At what stage of prenatal development are the structures that allow higher brain functions, such as self-awareness in place, mature enough and evidently functioning

c) At what stage of prenatal development would the combination of a) and b) be reliably functioning in at least 90% of the embryos/fetuses

d) What technology and procedures available to determine this stage in a pregnancy have a confidence level of at least a 90%

Granted, I pulled the 90% figure from my butt, but I consider it reasonable to assume that 100% accuracy is impossible and anything over an error for one in ten tests is unacceptable.

All this could even hope to determine is the minimum stage of development where they might make a case for the state having an interest in limiting abortions, and from what I've read about prenatal development, this isn't until well into the third trimester, a point at which it's exceedingly likely that a woman who is aware that she is pregnant would have accessed medicare funded abortion services long before.

They aren't interested in this, however. Their interest is in making people link the words "child" and "human being" with embryo and fetus (some English definitions of "child" apparently already include embryos and fetuses). Their interest is in increasing support for limiting abortions based on convincing people who aren't informed that they're protecting children and human beings from murder. They cannot agree that terminating the development of an embryo or a fetus is in any way different than premeditated murder as their position is ideological.

Ultimately their goal is likely to be a continued and escalating series of attempts to roll back social justice legislation, of which gender based protections are just a part. If it truly were to protect children, then the state already has more than adequate legislation in order to do that, and a legal point of separation - prior to birth = not a child, after birth = child.

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