An online petition started by the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada against Motion 312 has garnered nearly 20,000 signatures, and is being couriered to Ottawa today.
ARCC’s members and supporters have also sent in thousands of hand-signed paper petitions against the motion, which have been officially presented in Parliament.
Motion M-312, introduced by Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth, asks Parliament to form a committee that would examine the current definition of “human being” in the Criminal Code and decide whether it should include fetuses. The motion had its second hour of debate on Sept 22 and will be voted on in Parliament on Wed Sep 26.
“The goal of the motion is to re-classify fetuses as legal persons so that abortion can then be re-criminalized. The anti-choice movement has made that goal crystal clear over the last few months,” said Joyce Arthur,
Executive Director of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC). “Fetal personhood would also restrict the rights of all pregnant women.”
““Our online petition got far more support than a competing anti-abortion petition in favour of the motion,” said Arthur. “Most Canadians are pro-choice and do not want Parliament debating once again whether a woman has the right to choose abortion.”
“Many petition signers expressed their disgust and outrage that women’s basic human rights are still up for debate in the 21st century, 25 years after the issue was settled by the Supreme Court of Canada in the
January 28, 1988 Morgentaler decision,” said Julie Lalonde, an ARCC spokesperson based in Ottawa.
ARCC is calling on all Members of Parliament to oppose the motion by voting No on Wednesday. “We need to crush Motion 312 and send it back to hellhole it came from,” said Lalonde.