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"When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." Elizabeth Cady Stanton



Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Canadian Doctors: "You Aren't a Human Until You're Born"

Found through a ProWomenProLife blogpost "When Doctors Get Political":

"More than 250 delegates to the Canadian Medical Association's annual general council meeting Wednesday supported maintaining a section of the Criminal Code that declares a child becomes a human being at the moment of birth."

Read more of the article here.

This is infuriating. Like Andrea says, what exactly is the point of in-utero surgery if life doesn't begin until after birth? Why does the baby kick, move, smile, cry, suck its thumb, learn to recognize voices, and practice breathing if it just isn't really alive until after birth? Why do premature babies survive?

This little guy is not a human being. It's true
because doctors said it!

So many questions because the logic here just defies reason.

I mean, I can allllllmost kinda / maybe / sorta understand not wanting to define zygotes, embryos, and really early-term fetuses as "alive" (where "alive" is really a euphemism for "person"). After all, they don't really look human, and our history is chalk-full of people looking at someone who is different, and decided that makes them non-human. It is common (sadly). It even makes sense in a supremely horrifying twisted-logic kind of way.

What doesn't make sense is the medical community's absolute, unbending official support for late term abortions. Not just late term abortions mind you, but late term abortions for any reason whatsoever. Because in Canada, we have absolutely no laws against those things. Oh, that baby you're currently giving birth to? Its life hasn't begun unless its teeny little pinky toe has finally wiggled its way all the way out of your vagina. That late-term fetus that can survive on its own if birth is induced? Not alive. That baby that is a couple of days past its due date but just doesn't seem to want to leave the warmth and darkness of your uterus? Also not alive. And btw, you can kill (no wait, terminate. They aren't alive so they can't be killed. Slip of the tongue, sorry!) all those babies if you suddenly decide at the last minute that you just don't want a child.

This just goes to show that the abortion debate is not solely about bodily autonomy and all those poor women whose birth control failed but they were SO responsible and just don't want to be pregnant, so they totally deserve a second chance (no one mentions that the "second chance" involves the destruction of their own family - but whatevs, that's the price we lowly women have to pay to be equal (I just feel SO empowered by the establishment that refuses to acknowledge the humanity of my children, don't you ladies?)!).

But to get back to my point. The abortion debate, at least in Canada, is not just about bodily autonomy. If it was, and the only issue with pregnancy was that the woman's child was using her body without her permission, then late-term abortions would be outlawed. As soon as a baby had an even slim chance of surviving, abortion would not be an option. Induced labour would replace abortion, and (problem solved!!!!) the woman wouldn't be pregnant anymore and *gasp* her baby would live!  

But for some reason that's just not okay. Even the slightest indication that some un-born babies could be considered "alive" is met with absolute hysteria by not only the self-proclaimed "feminist" movement, but also by the medical community. Feminists at least have an excuse in that they can force themselves to be ignorant of the facts - but doctors have no excuse. They study life and death, and they know that defining life to begin at birth makes no kind of logical sense.

They also know that some babies that are aborted can survive on their own. 

And if you don't believe that the suggestion that life doesn't begin at birth induces hysteria, just read this jewel of a statement:

"This attempt to modify the definition of a human being could legally recognize the fetus, which would give the fetus rights,” said Montreal physician Dr. Genevieve Desbiens. “This constitutes a recriminalization, not only of abortion, but any form of contraception."

Because trying to not get pregnant in the first place is totally the same as killing your son or daughter. Right. I wonder if she knows that she's spewing the exact kind of logic most people in North America reject as hopelessly fundamentalist Christian? ... or wait! Does this mean that she agrees that some forms of contraception can induce early abortion? I thought that was just pro-life scare-mongering?

Wait a second. She said "any form of contraception". Am I missing something here? How exactly do barrier methods and NFP harm unborn babies? Is she really implying that all forms of contraception induce abortions? Or maybe she just wants to be sensational to drum up popular support?

I'm going to go with the second one.

tsk tsk. A doctor involved in propaganda. Who would have thunk it.

This quote is also awesome:

"This could prevent a pregnant woman from traveling or taking certain drugs to protect the child she’s carrying."

 So lets get this straight. If I'm pregnant, and my baby is considered alive, I won't be able to travel anywhere? Anywhere at all? What if I wanted to drive a couple of hours into the next city? Or hop on an hour-long train ride to see my family? Or maybe hop on a plane to go to the Olympics (guess what, that happened in 2012, and a doctor had the professional opinion that the baby would be fine - so which is it doctors? Does traveling always hurt a baby and will it always be illegal for pregnant mum's to travel, or are there cases where travel makes no difference at all?) And I won't be able to take any drugs? None at all? Or just the kind that might hurt my baby and provide no real benefit for myself? We really need to quantify this statement here, because currently, its a blanket statement that can be shown to be false in some (if not many) circumstances and ... but wait. Is the good doctor really saying that my baby doesn't deserve protection?

Yes, I think she is.

I guess she's fine with pregnant mom's drinking and smoking then.


So guess what mom's-"to-be"? Those adorable little bundles of joy you've been lugging around with you all this time aren't, by definition, human beings (at least according to Canadian doctors and politicians). And they aren't alive, even though you can feel them move, even though you can treat them for diseases in utero, and even though they will be born knowing how to recognize your voice because they learned how while safe in your womb. And this is the consensus, because, well, science!!! And abortion makes women equal and contraception will be outlawed and all you pregnant women won't be able to travel if your babies are considered people and you won't be able to take drugs and all that. Those are totally scientific reasons to label unborn babies as "not human".



Some thoughts from Canadian pro-life groups:
Preborn Human Rights: CMA dismisses science in favour of feminist ideology
CCBR: Canadian Physicians: No To Genital Mutilation, Yes To Decapitation?
ProWomenProLife: When political statements supercede biology


  1. I don't even want to get into the rest of it right now, because I'm busy writing another blog, but the headline on this blog post (and I know it's taken from the article - the article is wrong, too) is incredibly misleading.

    This is what the doctors ACTUALLY decided:

    "7. The Canadian Medical Association favours maintaining subsection 223(1) of the Criminal Code, which states that 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 […].” (DM5-13)"

    BIG difference. HUGE difference.

    1. My understanding of Motion 312 is that it is a motion to discuss when human life actually begins. Currently human life is defined (in Canada) to begin at birth. I think everyone (even many pro-choicers) can agree that is is a gross misstatement and willful misuse of the words "human being" and "human life". I'll change the title though to parallel the words used by the CMA, thanks for pointing that out.

      I still would like to know how any reasonable person can parallel abortion with all forms of contraception. Like, that statement seriously just boggles my mind.