It’s a ‘baby’: Conservatives recognize life in womb, promise to provide Canada Child Benefits in 7th month of pregnancy
September 16, 2021 (Campaign Life Coalition) – The Conservative Party of Canada promised this week that it would help support expecting parents by providing monthly payments to help them with the cost of preparing for their baby's new arrival, beginning in the seventh month of pregnancy.
If elected on September 20, the Conservatives, led by self-proclaimed "pro-choice" Erin O'Toole, stated on Monday that they will "provide expecting parents with the Canada Child Benefit starting in the seventh month of pregnancy to help them purchase essentials as they prepare for the arrival of their baby."
While such a promise does absolutely nothing to address a massive human rights crisis in Canada where a child can be aborted right up until the moment of birth, it does, however, take a step in the right direction in recognizing that it is a baby who is in their mother's womb and who deserves support before birth while growing and developing.
According to current but anachronistic Canadian law, a child becomes a "human being" only at the moment of complete birth, when they have "completely proceeded, in a living state, from the body of its mother."
This means that there is no legal protection for babies in the womb before birth, even though biologically, scientifically, and philosophically preborn babies are entirely human and are full members of the human family. Because of Canada's outdated views of human life in the womb, the country tragically tolerates the genocide of some 100,000 preborn babies by abortion annually.
In 2012, a pro-life MP introduced a motion in Parliament that called for a formation of a special committee to review the law on the definition of when a child becomes human. Pro-life groups supported Motion 312. Abortion groups, such as the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, along with — surprisingly — a number of labour unions, opposed the endeavour. In the end, the motion was defeated 203 to 91. Despite its defeat, this motion was also a step in the right direction in calling into question legal definitions aimed at excluding certain members of the human family.
What's good about the Conservative promise to provide Child Benefits to preborn children at seven months gestation — a full two months before they are born — is that the promise recognizes that there is life in the womb. And, it acknowledges that such life needs and deserves support. This may help foster a culture that recognizes that life in the womb is "human" and deserving of respect and even — one day, hopefully, sooner than later — legal protection.
But, this does not go far enough.
Why the arbitrary cut-off at 7 months? Why not 5 months, or 3, or 1? Why not provide parents with Child Benefits as soon as parents know they are expecting? A man and woman become parents not at the moment of birth, but at the moment of fertilization. From this moment forward, the new human life simply needs time and the protective environment of the womb to grow and develop. The woman is already a mother as she nurtures the preborn baby in her womb. Pregnant women must spend more financially looking after themselves for the sake of their baby in the healthy food choices they make and, for instance, in the vitamins and other health-related supplements that they take. Child Benefits from the first month of pregnancy onward would certainly help the mother look after her own health for the sake of looking after her baby's health.
While this party promise has merit, it certainly is no real bone to toss to social conservatives who are disappointed by O'Toole's pro-abortion stance (he calls himself pro-choice) and his flip-flopping on social conservative values, such as conscience rights for doctors (he says that they should not have them, opposing his own party platform). This party promise will not sway back grassroots social conservatives who have already decided to vote for candidates from other parties who respect their values.
Giving parents Child Benefits for their preborn children is certainly a small step in the right direction but it is woefully not enough. Preborn children deserve a policy that applies to all of them, not just some who have passed a certain gestational age. Justice demands it. And so too should every pro-life card-carrying member who supports the Conservative party.
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