Dear Erin the Optimist,
Your recent email states “the issue has never been about whether a fetus is a human being”. I understand that you are preoccupied with the issue of abortion, but surely you are not so arrogant or so enamoured with tyranny as to dictate to me or anyone else that we cannot be concerned with other issues.
Whether or not you recognize it, our law (in subsection 223(1)) does in fact create an issue about whether a fetus is a human being. Subsection 223(1), which was the sole focus of Motion 312, falsely and fraudulently decrees that a child is not a human being until the moment of complete birth.
Perhaps that was excusable when we lacked the science and understanding to know it was false. However, with the knowledge that a child is actually a human being before birth, a legal decree which falsely denies that reality is corrosive to democracy.
You might believe that it is irrelevant that laws should honestly reflect reality. Permit me to stand up for the principle that it is highly important to a democracy that laws must honestly reflect reality.
You might believe that it is irrelevant that civilized democracies in the last century agreed that every human being possesses equal worth and dignity. Permit me to object to the abandonment of principles of universal human rights as undermining democracy itself.
Do you really believe that you cannot justify abortion except by pretending that a child is not a human being until complete birth? Do you really believe that when the claims and interests of two or more people conflict, it is acceptable to strip one of them of all human worth and dignity? Or to declare that some people are more equal than others?
Permit me to insist that democratic justice demands that, however we resolve conflicting claims and interests, we must start on the basis that everyone possesses equal worth and dignity.
Every tyrant in history has desired to strip those who stand in his or her way of equality under the law and of all worth and dignity. If you cannot justify your position on any other basis than that, I say the sacrifice is too great.
No agenda or preoccupation with abortion or anything else should blind us to the over-riding importance of democratic ideals such as the necessity for laws to honestly reflect reality, the defence of the equality and the worth and dignity of every human being, and the benefits of respectful dialogue.
I am grateful to you for allowing us this dialogue, which affirms at least our agreement on the third of those democratic principles.
Member of Parliament