On February 6, 2012, Member of Parliament Stephen Woodworth brought forward the following motion. On September 26, 2012 the motion was defeated by a vote of 91 – 203.
[Note: Sections have been bolded/coloured here for ease of reading. The non-bolded sections are the requisite spelling-out of how a committee is set up and how it operates.]
That a special committee of the House be appointed and directed to review the declaration in Subsection 223(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada which states that a child becomes a human being only at the moment of complete birth and to answer the questions hereinafter set forth;
that the membership of the special committee consist of twelve members which shall include seven members from the government party, four members from the Official Opposition and one member from the Liberal Party, provided that the Chair shall be from the government party; that the members to serve on the said committee be appointed by the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs and the membership report of the special committee be presented to the House no later than 20 sitting days after the adoption of this motion;
that substitutions to the membership of the special committee be allowed, if required, in the manner provided by Standing Order 114(2);
that the special committee have all the powers of a Standing Committee as provided in the Standing Orders; and
that the special committee present its final report to the House of Commons within 10 months after the adoption of this motion with answers to the following questions,
- what medical evidence exists to demonstrate that a child is or is not a human being before the moment of complete birth?,
- is the preponderance of medical evidence consistent with the declaration in Subsection 223(1) that a child is only a human being at the moment of complete birth?,
- what are the legal impact and consequences of Subsection 223(1) on the fundamental human rights of a child before the moment of complete birth?,
- what are the options available to Parliament in the exercise of its legislative authority in accordance with the Constitution and decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada to affirm, amend, or replace Subsection 223(1)?