Monday, September 24, 2012

Motion 312 - Defining Personhood in Canada

Here is a sample letter that I am sending to my local MP Malcolm Allen of the NDP today in response to Motion 312.  For those of you who do not know, this is a motion put forward in the Spring by Stephen Woodsworth of Kitchener which is seeking to update the legal definition of personhood in Canada.  This motion has major implications on the abortion issue and could reoopen a national debate if it is passed later this week.  There is currently a 400 year old legal definition of personhood in Canada that is being challenged in Parliament which holds that human life begins at birth rather than at conception.  If you write a letter to your local MP (which I would urge you to do as soon as possible!), please focus your comments on the relevant issue - the definition of personhood.  Tell your MP that it is impossible to contend medically that a fetus becomes a human being by travelling through the birth canal.  Even a pro-choice advocate should concede this if he/she is being honest with the facts and not simply following the feminist agenda! The abortion debate is really a secondary concern here, so keep that in mind as you write.  Please don't copy my letter word for word, but draft your own and make it as personal as possible.  It doesn't need to be long or eloquent.   Read Exodus 1 this morning, and follow the example of the Hebrew midwives, who did not sit around passively when they had an opportunity to save lives!
Dear Malcolm Allen,

I am a resident of Welland and the associate pastor at Rosedale Baptist Church on Lincoln Ave.  First of all, I’d like to express my sincere appreciation for your service on behalf of Welland in the House of Commons.  I love our country, as I know you do, and am thankful to be able to participate fully in our democratic system of government.  You are in my personal prayers and we often pray for you here at Rosedale along with our other elected officials as the Bible instructs us to do (1 Timothy 2:1-4).  May God give you His wisdom as you serve our country and may He sustain you in that role.
I am writing you today with respect to Motion 312 which was debated last week in the House of Commons.   Supporting this motion gives us an opportunity to bring Canadian law into the twenty-first century.  It is embarrassing that we still have a legal definition in Canada that maintains that human life begins at birth.  As a father of two small children who has seen my children via ultrasound complete with fingers, toes, eyes and ears, and have felt them move inside their mother as they were developing, it is unthinkable that we could defend such an absurd and antiquated definition.   Although I have earned a degree in Biology from the University of Guelph, I can assure you that it doesn’t take university training to know that an eight inch trip through the birth canal does not turn a fetus into a human being!  To hold such a medical contention in the twenty-first century is nearly the equivalent of believing in a flat earth or a geo-centric universe.  Do we really want to keep Canada in the dark ages with definitions of life and humanity that are patently false?  Stephen Woodsworth has raised a valid point through this motion, and I think it needs to be taken seriously and acted upon by all members of the House.  I would therefore urge you to vote in favour of Motion 312 and bring Canadian law up to date.
I understand that more is at stake here than a legal definition and that support of this motion could re-open the abortion debate here in Canada.  If that is the case, so be it!  Let’s pursue honesty and face the medical facts head on rather than doing what is politically expedient.  The Bible is very clear that we have a moral obligation before God to defend the rights of the helpless and to speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves.  Part of “standing on guard” for Canada, is to defend the rights of all of her citizens (or in the case of the fetus – potential citizens!).   I appreciate very much the NDP’s compassion for all Canadian citizens, and I am asking you to extend compassion and justice to unborn persons, full of potential to change the world for the better!  I for one am willing to put my worldview on this issue into action.  My wife and I are in the process of applying to adopt, and if Canada was to change its mind on abortion, I would gladly adopt orphans and encourage others to do the same.  I believe that those like myself who advocate for a pro-life stance have a moral obligation to care for the orphan and also for their mothers!  May God bless you Mr. Allen and empower you this week to do what is right – “to act justly and to love mercy” (Micah 6:8).

John C. Bellingham   BSc., MDiv.
6 Promenade Richelieu
Welland, ON
L3B 6B2

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