MPs voted overwhelmingly today against Kitchener Centre MP Stephen Woodworth's private member's motion that would have required a parliamentary committee to study the criminal code definition of what constitutes a "human being."
Voting with Woodworth for the motion were 90 other members, primarily government backbenchers including Yorkton-Melville representative Garry Breitkreuz. Within seconds of final tally being read, reporters on the hill were tweeting that 10 cabinet ministers voted for the motion, most surprisingly Status of Women Minister Rona Ambrose.
The nays carried the day with 203 voting against the motion including Prime Minister Stephen Harper and two-thirds of his cabinet. In the last election the prime minister promised his government would not reopen the debate on abortion and although Woodworth has repeatedly said that wasn't what his motion was about, he has been repeatedly condemned for trying to make an end run around public opinion.
The Criminal Code of Canada currently states: “A child becomes a human being within the meaning of this Act when it has completely proceeded, in a living state, from the body of its mother….”
Despite the overwhelming loss, Woodworth "vowed to fight on against the denial of the worth and dignity of every human found in subsection 223(1) of the Criminal Code," in a press release issued moments after the motion was rejected.