Canadian Alliance Member of Parliament Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton-Melville Sask.) did not take long to introduce the first piece of pro-life legislation for the current session of Parliament. It was the reintroduction of a motion which he first introduced in the previous session, prior to the recent election, and is designed to pressure the government to redefine “human being” in law to include unborn children.

The Motion (M-228) reads: “That, in the opinion of this House, the government should bring in legislation defining a ‘human being’ as a human fetus or embryo from the moment of conception, whether in the womb of the mother or not and whether conceived naturally or otherwise, and making any and all consequential amendments required.”

Karen Murawsky, National Affairs director of Campaign Life Coalition, praises the initiative. She said, “It is time that the law caught up with the truth and with what every mother knows, and every medical and scientific fact has proven; her baby came into existence at the time of conception.”

Unfortunately, the committee on Private Members’ Business deemed the motion “not votable.” As a result, it will receive one hour of debate in the House of Commons and then pass from the scene. That one hour will have to be used to its maximum potential to articulate the argument being proposed, since that will be the most public exposure it will receive.

If the motion had been declared votable, it would have received three hours of debate in the House, coming to the floor three times, for one hour on each occasion. At the end of this debate a vote would have taken place. Because the measure is a motion rather than a bill, it would not become law; rather it would be seen as a reflection of the will of the House, providing momentum for the government or an individual member to work on a law that reflects the sentiment.