Monday, October 01, 2012

Motion 312: Point - Counterpoint

It was Thomas Edison who said: “Five percent of the people think; ten percent of the people think they think; and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think.”I think we need to change that.

I enjoy all kinds of different news outlets: magazines, television, radio, the web. I even like a good civil debate every once in a while. I also like to read from different perspectives, if only to try to understand people better. I have found, however, that a great many people only get one side of the story. In light of that, I decided to start something a little different on my blog, something I'll call "Point - Counterpoint." 

In these blogs I will post links to articles on the same subject from 2 or 3 different perspectives. Please note that I do not necessarily endorse the articles presented. (If I endorsed all of these divergent opinions I'd be worried for my mental health.) What I would like to do is to try to give you a sampling of the writing from a broad spectrum of viewpoints.  

The first subject will be the distinctively Canadian brouhaha over Bill 312, recently defeated in the House of Commons. This has been the matter of a great deal of debate in Canada, much of it from people with no idea what the Bill says, or what the law currently states. So we'll begin with a presentation of the Bill itself. Here it is in its entirety:  

"That a special committee of the House be appointed and directed to review the declaration in Subsection 223(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada which states that a child becomes a human being only at the moment of complete birth and to answer the questions hereinafter set forth;

that the membership of the special committee consist of twelve members which shall include seven members from the government party, four members from the Official Opposition and one member from the Liberal Party, provided that the Chair shall be from the government party; that the members to serve on the said committee be appointed by the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs and the membership report of the special committee be presented to the House no later than 20 sitting days after the adoption of this motion;

that substitutions to the membership of the special committee be allowed, if required, in the manner provided by Standing Order 114(2);

that the special committee have all the powers of a Standing Committee as provided in the Standing Orders; and

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 following are three articles written from different perspectives. 

The first is by Heather Mallick of the Toronto Star: Citizenship Minister Jason Kenney wants MPs to decide when human life begins

The second is by Monte Solberg of the Toronto Sun: A discussion we cannot discuss. 

The third is by Monique David of the National Post

Quebec media toes the pro-abortion line in denouncing Ambrose

Full disclosure: I have strong opinions on this subject and have written on the topic a number of times. Your opinions are welcome.

Related Articles:
Motion 312 and the Quest for Justice 
Why the abortion issue won't go away 
Canada Now an Abortion Destination
No Justice in Canada for the Unborn
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