m312: harper gets our message

So the first hour of debate on the not-so-stealth abortion motion did not go well for Mr. Woodworth. The Opposition parties came out strongly in favour of the 21st century and rationality. And as you know, only one Conservative other than Woodworth spoke - Gordon O'Connor (Carleton-Mississippi Mills and Conservative whip) - and he demolished the bill.
But O'Connor disagreed, saying "the ultimate intention of this motion is to restrict abortions at some development stage in Canada." If the legal definition of when a person is considered a human being is changed, and a fetus is then considered a human being then homicide laws would apply, and abortion, as a consequence, would be considered homicide, O'Connor said.

He was the only other Conservative MP to speak during the debate, and he urged everyone to reject his colleague's motion whenever it comes to a vote.

O'Connor said abortion is a serious decision for women to make and he wants all women to continue to live in a society where they can make that decision "without the threat of legal consequences."

Whether one accepts abortion or not, it will always be part of society, O'Connor said, adding that he can't understand why those who are opposed to it want to impose their belief on others through the Criminal Code.

"Trying to amend the legal rules governing abortion as is intended by this motion will not improve the situation, it will only lead to increased conflict as the attempt is made to turn back the clock," said O'Connor. "Society has moved on and I don't believe this proposal should proceed. As well, it is in opposition to our government's position."
Knowing the Prime Minister's MO as we do, I believe this can only be interpreted one way. Harper used Woodworth's motion as a weather balloon, to test the public's appetite for re-opening the abortion debate. Pro-choice activists mobilized, and public opinion was rallied. Harper saw that this was politically unfeasible, and he hung Woodworth out to dry (or Woodworth volunteered to be sacrificed for the cause; those details don't matter).

Make no mistake. You beat back this threat. We did. We won this round and perhaps the war (for now), not because the Tories came to their senses, but because we showed them the consequences of their actions.

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