Friday, March 30, 2012

Go, Stephen Woodworth!

My second article for the LifeCanada Journal...


By JP Sonnen

OTTAWA, March 9, 2012 ( - A Canadian member of Parliament, MP Steven Woodworth, has filed a historic motion in the House of Commons calling for a special committee to consider when human life begins. He proposes to confine the evidence strictly to the issue of the humanity of the unborn infant.

Section 223 of Canada’s Criminal Code, a 400-year-old provision inherited from British common law, states that a child only becomes a “human being” once he or she has fully proceeded from the womb.

As the enlightened minority opinion takes pains to explain, the scientific evidence is mounting relentlessly to establish more and more clearly that the human unborn is a person in its own right and that the issue, far from being settled, demands a broader ruling.

“This outdated law has turned into one of the most artful legal evasions of all time, a world-class circumlocution,” said Ottawa grad student, Ann Johnson. “We cannot remain in the state of biologic art of the Middle Ages. Thankfully this has now come under scrutiny. Today we have ultrasound.”

Ultrasound, or sonography, is a medial success story of the 1970s, ranking with fetal heart monitoring, transplant immunology and CAT scanning. It is a diagnostic method which relies on the use of high frequency sound waves passing through the body and giving off echoes as the sound waves hit various tissues of different densities. Watching a realtime ultrasound one can see a continuous projection of the ultrasonic images as a motion picture, revealing the tiny heart coiling and thrusting from between 18-24 days from conception.

“With these technologies,” continues Johnson, “The stage of prenatality finally emerges from the ultrasound shadows – convincing enough for most of us in science but apparently still not sufficiently convincing for the other side. If the suspect unborn creature looks like us, if it has the same metabolism and reproductive compatibility with us, if it responds to the same stimuli, if its organs are identical to ours, then there is a reasonable probability that it is one of us.”

This same theme was taken up by Dr. Bernard Nathanson in The Abortion Papers. Dr. Nathanson, a graduate of the McGill University Medical College in Montreal, was the former director of the largest abortion clinic in the Western World, the Center for Reproductive and Sexual Health. He writes, “In other years, much of the mystique of birth, and therefore the mistaken belief that life begins at birth, was the reality that we knew virtually nothing about the baby before birth, not even such a seemingly simple and certainly fundamental fact as its sex. Now with the masses of information we have of the baby before it is born, especially the certain knowledge of its sex, the mystery of prenatality is dispelled, and once and for all the myth of life beginning at birth should be entombed forever.”

Nathanson continues, “Incidentally, not only can we now ascertain the sex of the baby prenatally with ultrasound, but we now have positive information that female babies can ovulate while still in the uterus. Though it is not a common phenomenon, even the notion that it can happen while the female baby is still unborn is astonishing. It is yet another piece in the increasingly undeniable picture of the unborn child as one of us.”

With this window into the prenatal word, the irrefutable scientific data mounts which demonstrates that the unborn is a person in the law. The endless judicial review and interminable legal wrangling must begin, many argue, invariably ending with the highest courts’ determination that for all practical purposes society does not endorse the taking of human life, even at the prenatal stage, no matter the provocation.

Reactions are mixed. “I do not feel this case will be decided as it should be, purely on its bio-ethical merits, “complained one Ottawa student who wished to remain anonymous. “What about the money? The redoubtable economic clout of the physicians and entrepreneurs of the abortion industry? Or the shrill keening of the liberal media? The endless disputation on the exact nature of the prenatal human will sadly continue.”

Natalie Hudson, executive director for LifeCanada was quick to respond to critics, “The stark reality is that prenatal human life is being destroyed on an unimaginably vast scale in Canada. Motion 312 is a question of biological reality and not of political rights. The politically neutral scientific data has spoken and supports the concept of prenatality as one of the many passages in our lives. For sentient human beings to deny that life begins when sperm penetrates egg is to deny that the earth is round or that blood circulates.”

Hudson continues, “Given the general state of ignorance of the discipline of fetology at the time – 400 years ago – we can indeed almost exonerate the lawmakers of English common law. We are wiser now by virtue of ultrasound and fetoscopy and today we better understand the core issue in the abortion controversy – the definition of the nature of the unborn infant.”

You can sign the petition in support of Motion 312 here.


  1. The sex of the unborn is fixed at fertilization. By day 14, it can be verified immunologically by the researcher by testing for the H-Y (male differentiation) antigen on the surface of the baby's cells.

    The unborn child produces its own primitive germ (sperm and egg) cells at day 21, after which they migrate within the developing body. By day 38 they cease migrating and are located in the forming testes and ovaries; these germ cells will become fully mature at puberty. At day 42 the penis begins to form in the male unborn; the female sexual organs form later. By day 46 the gonads have differentiated to the extent that sex could be determined by microscopic examination if it were not already knowable through biochemistry. At this time the 600,000 potential ova of a lifetime already exist in the female unborn.

  2. Brain-wave technology confirms that the unborn child dreams. Rapid eye movements characteristic of our own deep sleep periods can be identified in the unborn, and these eye movements are said to be typical of the dream state.