That delegates at the recent Canadian Medical Association general council meeting held in Yellowknife, N.W.T. supported the current Criminal Code definition of a human being, smacks of ignorance from those we’d least expect it on this issue.
You would think physicians should know that when a man and woman copulate, the ‘products of conception’ are none other than a human being. I’m pretty sure you won’t find any of the doctors that attended this meeting argue to the contrary.
Why then the ignorance? Why would Canada’s physicians show a blatant disregard for all they have been taught concerning embryology and human anatomy?
The Canadian Medical Association, rather than enter this debate over the definition of a human being from an objective position, and relying on their credentials, has placed ideology over science. Instead of educating Canadians as to the various stages of human development, they have become a mouthpiece for ardent feminists who believe that abortion is solely a women’s rights issue. “I’m not asking if you are for or against abortion,” Dr. Genevieve Desbiens said to the delegates at the general council meeting. “I’m asking for you to recognize that women must retain their full and complete rights,” she added. This coming from a Montreal physician who knows full well that when she treats a woman who is pregnant there are two patients she is caring for.
Dr. Desbiens went a step further in explaining to the delegates why they had to oppose MP Stephen Woodworth’s motion to study the Criminal Code definition of a human being. She said, “This attempt to modify the definition of a human being could legally recognize the fetus, which would give the fetus rights.” Her words are akin to saying, “I know we’re all trained in this field, but I want you to disregard all of that for a moment, because this is a fight about women’s rights only and objective science should not inform the opinions of Canadians.”
History is rife with examples of certain classes of humans who were denied personhood. And in spite of efforts by people such as William Wilberforce and Martin Luther King Jr., there were those who opposed them and worked tirelessly to deny basic human rights to others. These groups and individuals also resorted to decision-making that was ideologically, socially, and economically based.
The words of Prime Minister Stephen Harper which he spoke several weeks ago in reference to the Northern Gateway pipeline ring true for the abortion debate as well. Speaking to reporters he said of the controversial pipeline, “The only way that governments can handle controversial projects of this manner is to ensure that things are evaluated on an independent basis scientifically and not simply on political criteria.”
Due to medical and scientific advances, pre-born children are more visible than ever before. Simply because they are in a different location doesn’t mean we can perpetrate injustices on them. It’s time that the status of pre-born children was evaluated from a scientific perspective free from ideological and political interference. Our humanity depends on it.