Heather Mallick, a Toronto Star columnist and admitted atheist, dealt with a pro-life issue recently and pleaded with readers: “Quick now, when does life begin?” I hope I can help you, Heather. I’m looking at a black and white picture of a 7-month-old baby boy who was aborted in Houston, Texas, on Dec. 8, 1990. He was 16 inches long with a muscular frame and his umbilical cord was still attached to his body. (I’ll spare you further details.)

That baby could have been born and survived and today the odds would be that he would be looking forward to many birthdays. It would be hard to look at the picture of that boy’s body and convince anybody that he wasn’t a human being. (People can get this tame black and white picture at Victory for the Unborn, P.O. Box 690762, Houston Texas 77269-0762.) Shockingly, third trimester abortions are legal up to the time of birth.

All this renewed interest in the media of the status of the unborn was brought about by MP Stephen Woodworth (Conservative, Kitchener Centre), a calm, friendly, likeable person, who recently challenged abortion supporters to prove unborn babies aren’t human. Woodworth, a lawyer for 30 years, calls for a revision of Section 223 of Canada’s Criminal Code, which says a child only becomes a “human being,” when he or he/she has fully proceeded from the womb, is a 400-year-old law. Woodworth wants to understand why the unborn ought not to be deemed human beings. Please, everybody’s waiting.

The real question, though, is not when a fetus becomes a human being but rather the claimed right to choose death for another person, regardless of whether or not he/she is a human being.

Woodworth had a difficult job at the National Press Gallery in Ottawa, recently facing a room packed with journalists and he knew he wasn’t facing a friendly crowd. “At some point in your life you made a commitment to the truth,” the MP told the journalists. “At least that’s what the rest of us expect of you. Has anyone here abandoned their commitment to the truth? Don’t you want truthful laws?”

Since December, Woodworth has taken to the media circuit, telling reporters, the public and his constituents that he believes babies who are still in the womb should be recognized as legal human beings and that laws which say they are humans only once their toes have seen daylight makes no sense.

Woodworth also filed a motion calling for the formation of a special committee to determine when a human being is formed and based on that conclusion what the consequences would be recognizing a fetus as a human before it leaves the womb.

Shockingly, Luisa D’Amato, a Kitchener Record columnist and ardent feminist, endorsed Woodworth and said it’s a good idea to have this discussion of when life begins. She said “I don’t think anyone should be afraid of it.”

Woodworth has realized that he’s placed himself in a tricky position with some of his colleagues. Many Conservative MPs are well-known opponents of abortion, but they’ve been silent about Woodworth’s bill. Mary Ellen Douglas, national organizer with Campaign Life Coalition, said “These MPs should be able to speak their minds, follow their consciences and act that way.” She added: “We expect you them earn your money.”

Joyce Arthur, the executive director of Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada told the media that she fears the pro-lifers are being sneaky, complaining MPs opposed to abortion say, “oh it’s not about abortion, we care about the human rights of women.” Many abortion advocates say Woodworth and even Prime Minister Stephen Harper are using the definition of human being motion to re-open the abortion issue.

On issues of moral conscience, such as abortion, the definition of marriage and euthanasia, the Conservative Party acknowledges deeply held personal convictions, the rights of MP’s to adopt positions in consultations with their constituents and vote freely. However, the party also states it will be government policy to not address abortion.

The voting records, previous comments, and questionaire responses compiled by Campaign Life Coalition suggests that half the Conservative caucus opposes abortion. How will they vote on Woodworth’s motion?

MP’s: This is a wonderful opportunity — maybe a once-in-your life opportunity to strike a blow for the helpless unborn children in our midst. Don’t miss it.