Canada’s law protected the lives of children in the womb until 1969. Canadian law did not include the child in the womb in its definition of human being, however, prior to 1969, the Statutes of Canada 1953-1954, Section 209, Chapter 51 stated the following;
Causing death of a child not a human being: (1) Everyone who causes the death of a child that has not become a human being, in such a manner that, if the child were a human being, he would be guilty of murder, is guilty of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for life…
The Statutes of Canada 1953-1954, Section 195, Chapter 51 stated; When a child becomes a human being;
(1) 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 whether or not:
(a) It has breathed.
(b) It has independent circulation.
(c) The navel string is severed.
(2) A person commits homicide when he causes injuries to a child before or during its birth as a result of which the child dies.
After the amendments to Canada’s abortion law in 1969 the words “after becoming a human being” were added to;
(2) A person commits homicide when he causes injuries to a child before or during its birth as a result of which the child dies after becoming a human being.
Thus abandoning Criminal Code protection of the life of the pre-born child and leaving a vacuum within the law to implement the new amended abortion law which has resulted in the killing of almost 4 million Canadian children in their mother’s wombs between 1969 and 2015 (most current statistics).
Canadian law now says that a child in the womb is not a human being (Section 223 Criminal Code of Canada). Every year approximately 475,000 children are conceived in Canada, yet they remain invisible in the eyes of the law and their right to life is unrecognized and unprotected. Not one child in the womb has their life protected by law in Canada.
Section 223 of the Criminal Code of Canada excludes children in the womb from the legal classification of “Human Being” which means their lives do not have the legal protection that the rest of us who are born enjoy in Canada.
When child becomes human being
223 (1) 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, whether or not
(a) it has breathed;
(b) it has an independent circulation; or
(c) the navel string is severed.
Killing the child
(2) A person commits homicide when he causes injury to a child before or during its birth as a result of which the child dies after becoming a human being. R.S., c. C-34, s. 206.
This definition of human being is an antiquated relic from the 1953-54 Statutes of Canada. Current embryology and scientific evidence leave no shadow of doubt that the child in the womb is a human being from its earliest beginnings.
Criminal Code of Canada 2017 Review
Our federal government is in the process of reviewing and updating the Criminal Code.
“Criminal Justice experts are calling on government to overhaul Canada’s Criminal Code, arguing it is riddled with outdated “zombie” laws and confusing, inconsistent language…its filled with antiquated laws, duplications, inconsistent language…Everybody who knows about this agrees it’s an embarrassment…it’s embarrassingly bad.”
We would concur that it is embarrassingly bad that in 2017 a child in the womb is still excluded from the definition of human being in Canada. Canada celebrated its 150th birthday this year, yet for one third of Canada’s history it has denied the right to life and the first birthday of 3,783, 923 Canadian children in the womb! Every year approximately 475,000 children are conceived in Canada yet they remain invisible in the eyes of the law and their right to life unrecognized and unprotected.
Human Rights Background
We must respect everybody’s rights… Statement, in the House of Commons, December 5th 1867. – The Honourable Hector-Louis Langevin, First Secretary of the State of the Dominion of Canada
No Canadian can give sanctuary to bigotry. That is the essence, one of the major portions of this Bill of Rights. – John G. Diefenbaker, Prime Minister August 4th 1960
The Constitution Act 1982...contains the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms…it also creates a vision of tomorrow which offers the same reality to all Canadians – pride in ourselves, confidence in others and acceptance of one another…any legal document is only powerful if it is understood and tested and, if necessary, changed to better serve the citizens for whom it was created.” – David Crombie, Secretary of State 1991.
Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms celebrated its 35th birthday in 2017. In 1991 a new guide to the Charter was released and a message from Hon. Ray J. Hnatyshtn included the following.
…The Charter is a living document. It has been designed to respond to the evolution of Canadian Society and to develop along with Canada. The Constitution of Canada has been compared to a tree whose branches continue to extend and grow, while the society beneath it thrives. Canadians must realize that they also have a responsibility to move their society toward principles of tolerance, fairness, justice and freedom…
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
On 10 December 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was proclaimed and adopted by the General Assembly…It is our duty to ensure that these rights are a living reality – that they are known, understood and enjoyed by everyone, everywhere.
Ban Ki-moon, UN General Secretary 2008 (60th Anniversary UDH)
Whereas; recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.
Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom…
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person…
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.
Article 25 (2)
Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.
Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.
Vision of those who drafted the UDHR
(T)he Bill of Human Rights….will elaborate what are called human rights, or rights of man. Obviously, the very phrase means that man in his own essence has certain rights; that therefore, what we are going to elaborate must answer to the nature and essence of man. Therefore, it must not be accidental. It certainly must not be changing with time and place. The Bill of Rights must define the nature and essence of man…It will, in essence, be an answer to the question; What is man? It will be the United Nations answer to this question. It will, in short, give meaning to the phrase ‘worth and dignity of man’, which is found in the preamble of the Charter.
Charles Malik member and officer, Drafting Committee of the Universal Declaration, Commission on Human rights page 58, 14th March 1947
- Why, if human rights are inalienable and belong to everybody, everyone, every individual, all, every member of the human family?
- Why, if human rights belong to “man in his own essence?”
- Why are the lives of children prior to birth not protected by Canadian law?
How can we change this?
In this fearful age it is not enough to be happy and prosperous and secure yourselves … you must have a message to proclaim to others; you must mean something in terms of ideas and attitudes and fundamental outlook on life; and this something must vibrate with relevance to all conditions of men.
– Charles Malik
We encourage all people of good will in Canada to sign the Petition of One Million 2019 and encourage others to sign. We need to proclaim to all Canadians the message that every human life must be protected from his/her biological beginnings as a human being in this great country. We cannot protect the 4 million children killed by abortion since 1969, but we can recognize and dignify their lives with every signature we collect. Please join us!