Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

In the Guardian today, Jessica Valenti wrote an excellent piece about breastfeeding, bottlefeeding and judgement.  It was a lovely article, making making points well.  But it’s central point – namely that all parents are making the best choices for their families – is flawed.  Hang on, before you grit your teeth to prepare to read a bottle-feeding smear article, hear me out.

Choice in infant feeding is a myth

Valenti asks why we clamour to celebrate breastfeeding and why we don’t show the same adoration for bottle feeding.  The fact is, breastfeeding is still the underdog.  If you doubt that, simply look at the numbers – in Canada only one quarter of infants are exclusively breastfed for the recommended six months.  In the United States that number is below one in five.  Feeding artificial milk is thus the normalized, if simultaneously derided, ‘choice’ simply by virtue of the numbers.

The real question though, is whether or not bottle-feeding is a choice.  Do we think that nearly 70 percent of the mothers who first ‘chose’ breastfeeding simply switch their choice to artificial milk a few weeks later?

In her article, Valenti gives us this beautifully personal and detailed account of how her feeding decisions were made”

In my case, when my daughter Layla was born, nearly three months early and weighing just 2lbs, breastfeeding wasn’t on the table. Instead, she was first fed intravenously and then later by feeding tube with milk I had religiously pumped. But the stress of having a very sick child does not do wonders for milk production and, by the time she came home two months later, I had to supplement breastfeeding with formula to make sure Layla got all the nutrition she needed. I felt like a failure and a terrible mother.

I enlisted the help of a lactation consultant and started pumping 15 minutes every hour (six hours a day!). Even as I cried in pain and was thrown into a horrible depression, I kept it up because I fully believed not only that “breast was best” but that formula was ruinous. It was only when I stopped – in part, because of the legitimate concerns raised by, among others, my extremely worried husband – that I truly bonded with my daughter. I had to give myself permission to be okay with bottle-feeding for nutrition and still breastfed Layla for comfort, for both our sakes.

Valenti sandwiches her story in sentences about her supposed choices, but her words make it incredibly clear that although she certainly made decisions, the circumstances were entirely too constrained to call those decisions choices.  When your traumatic premature birth leaves you unable to produce enough food for your baby, you are not ‘choosing’ artificial milk, it’s simply the only feasible option available to you.

A friend and I once co-wrote a blog post about our nearly identical early feeding journeys and their very different ends.  Ultimately we both made different feeding decisions, she bottle-fed her beautiful daughter and I’ve gone on to breastfeed both of my children.  Did either of us ‘choose’ the diverging routes we took?  No.  I got adequate professional support for my challenges and Kelly did not, that’s it.  In the early days of parenthood, when our bodies are recovering from the intense, and often traumatic, exertion of birth; when we are on a hormonal roller-coaster; when we’re abruptly left without a primary health care provider for either us or our babies; when the care providers we do seek out dole out bad advice on a topic they have absolutely no training in, are we really at liberty to make choices?

Going forward, our feeding decisions continue to face constraint.  In Canada, if we are conventionally employed, we enjoy 50 weeks of paid parental leave.  But in the US, the number is as low as six weeks and without any financial support.  I am as determined a breastfeeder as anyone, but I’ll be the first to admit that I wouldn’t have spent two weeks struggling to get breastfeeding to work if I knew that it would probably go out the window four weeks later anyway.  I would have bottle fed and enjoyed my meagre time at home, then left for work free of the stress of finding the time, physical space and bodily ability to eject milk into a whirring machine.  It would have been my reality, but certainly not my choice.

Then there is the social treatment of the two feeding methods.  It sickens me to hear of bottle-feeding mothers being scorned.  It shouldn’t happen, yet we live in a world where we think we can know a person, their history and thoughts from 140 characters or a sepia-toned snapshot.  We’re ready to not only form an opinion in an Instagram, but are desperate to voice it.  But here again, breastfeeding women are still at a disadvantage.  Not only is their feeding method critiqued, those critiques are often encased in an additional and disgusting layer of sexualized commentary.  Anywhere from comments about the size, shape or desirability of the breasts, to accusing the woman of an act akin to public masturbation.  I have often heard women name anxiety about such harassment among their reasons for bottle feeding and if their inner sphere of family and friends isn’t supportive enough to counter this, it becomes a serious factor.  If fear of sex-based harassment is a motivator for a decision, that decision cannot truly be called a choice.

The myth of choice leaves us with no one to blame but each other

The crux of Valenti’s article is to beg us all to accept each other and the choices we make.  Her final sentence is one of support for parents “making the choices that are right for them and their children”.  I fully support the sentiment, but I firmly believe that the real solution is in repositioning the discussion.  We do need to fully support every parent for the decisions that are necessary for them and their children, but we need to stop masking the external influences on those decisions under the guise of choice.  Those of us who ‘succeed’ at breastfeeding need to admit that it was help and luck more than choice that created that success.  Those who wanted to breastfeed but switched to bottlefeeding need to feel able to say that it was not their choice, it was the necessary route and that sometimes we do what we must instead of what we wish.

It’s complicated and messy to say in the same breath that artificial milk is not optimal but that it’s certainly preferable to starving and that using it gratefully doesn’t preclude us from using it with a degree of sorrow.  It’s hard to say that babies who are fed formula are going to be OK but we need to fight for good and accessible breastfeeding supports so that fewer of them need to be given formula.  It’s a lot easier to say “This was my choice so back off!”.  But that conversation keeps the focus on our internal debate about who is a better mother, and stops us from working together for the things that all mothers need.  After all who wants to talk honestly about the risks inherent in using artificial milk if we’re asserting that those who use it are doing so by choice?  The theme of choice is what leads us to deny the fact that affiliations between healthcare providers and formula manufacturers creates an obscene conflict of interest that lowers breastfeeding rates.

If we don’t start having the messy complicated discussion, then we’ll keep writing articles asking why Olivia Wilde gets more praise than a bottle feeding mother, when we should be asking why some women get paid to breastfeed their babies in couture when other women are too busy worrying about how they’ll stretch their minimum wage to pay back the exorbitant hospital bill from the birth, especially after missing six weeks of pay, to have much time or energy left for worrying about making the feeding ‘choices’ that are right for them.  If we don’t start having that discussion and writing those articles, then we’ll keep having this blame war instead of lining up collectively to make a better reality for us and our babies.  And choice will continue to be a myth, rather than becoming a reality.



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Ok, so when we’re talking about Todd Akin’s disgusting comments that frankly, go beyond rape-apology, everything is wrong.  But there’s something about the reaction to his comments that’s also disturbing me.

Huffington Post did this great little slide show about (mostly) GOP reactions to his statement.  At first glance it’s great.  Lots of his fellow republicans publicly denouncing him.  But if you look closely, you’ll see that something is amiss in their priorities.

The best example is probably the statement by Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell.  If that name sounds familiar, it should.  He garnered similar media attention for agreeing to pass a law that mandated that women seeking abortion must first be raped by a physician or technician with an ultrasound wand, although the law was amended to require only non-consensual abdominal probing, not vaginal probing, before it arrived on his desk.

He’s got to seriously decide what’s in the best interest of the party, what’s in the best interest of the state of Missouri, and frankly, at this point, given that flat wrong statement…

… are you expecting an end to that sentence that would denote some, even very small, amount of consideration for the rape victims who have been traumatized by Mr Akin’s comments?  Well don’t.

The grande finale on McDonnell’s list of priorities is this:

…whether he can win

He continues with this (emphasis mine):

To say things that seemed to be so flat wrong and out of touch with both science and the people, I think it makes it very difficult at this point for him to win.

and this (emphasis still mine):

But on the surface, these statements are so bad and so inflammatory and so inaccurate when it comes to science that it certainly calls into question his ability to win.

So to recap here, they’re upset that he’s probably going to lose.

There was no mention in there of Akin’s comments being offensive, immoral, atrocious or pernicious.  Inflammatory, yes, but that has more to do with the undesirable backlash than the substance of his words.  No, as far as his philosophy goes, the reprimand they’re giving him is for being ‘inaccurate when it comes to science.’

Guess what, saying that a tomato is a vegetable instead of a fruit is also ‘inaccurate when it comes to science’, but it’s not exactly the same fucking thing as saying that an imaginary intrauterine spermicidal forcefield determines the ‘legitimacy’ of a rape now is it?

And that seems to be a common theme with these Republican ‘denouncers’.  Why?  Because they don’t actually disagree with him.  As a matter of fact their national convention voted just days after those comments to make the crux of his beliefs their official party policy.  Maybe some of them got out of home school long enough to know there’s no Yoda in my womb waiting to light-saber the first rape-begotten embryo he sees, but they (almost) all firmly believe there’s a ‘legitimate’ kind of rape and an ‘illegitimate’ kind.  And they all firmly believe the victims of that rape should have no control over their bodies or lives after it takes place, just as they had no control over their bodies as it was being brutalized.

So let’s see these comments for what they are – nothing more than disappointment over a lost campaign –  and realize that this Akin guy is in no way an outlier.  He is the real deal: the legitimate GOP.

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UPDATE: The Own Nestle Project has officially been launched.  Check it out here : www.ownnestle.org

I would definitely NOT buy a K car.  I would probably build that tree fort though and as it happens, in the 20-odd years since the Barenaked Ladies wrote that song they have in fact developed pre-wrapped bacon.  But I wouldn’t buy that either…

I digress.

A very nice-looking couple in Britain has just won the British pound equivalent of $200 million Canadian dollars in a lottery.  Holy moly is all I can say to that.  One of my absolute favourite pastimes is to play the what-would-I-do-if-I-won-the-lottery game.  Renting out Richard Branson’s Necker Island has always factored quite highly on my post-jackpot to-do list.  But there’s something else I would do that may surprise the heck out of you.

I would buy as many shares of Nestle stock as legally possible.

You’re probably as confused as heck right now since I’m all up in the breastfeeding (or, if you didn’t know that, check here, here and here), so let me explain: I would buy as many shares of Nestle as I could and use my voting power to run those suckers into the ground!

At today’s share price, $200 Million could technically get me 3,278,000 shares which, according to Nestle investor relations would amount to a whopping 0.1% of the company.  It wouldn’t get me control, but it certainly would get me a voice.  I could advocate for a corporate policy of following the WHO Code.  I could sabotage their sabotaging of infant health.

And guess what else I could do with my shares?  I could give the $6.2 million in dividends I’d get every year to IBFAN or some other breastfeeding protection organization.  That’s 6 million bucks worth of mama-milk marketing, 6 million bucks of lobbying, 6 million bucks of hardballs to throw back at Nestle each and every year.  And every penny of it they would cough up themselves.  And that’s just this year.  Over the last decade, Nestle has increased it’s dividend 600%*.  So today’s $6 million could be $36 million in another decade.  Of course, as a shareholder I’d get to vote for dividend changes, so I’d vote for the highest dividend possible.

But, I’m not the one who won the $200 million lottery, so I can’t do that, exactly.  But what if I bought a couple of shares?  And what if you bought a couple of shares?  In fact, what if we set up a non-profit specifically designed to Own Nestle shares and put those dividends to work?

Lots of us in the breastfeeding community are already familiar with or even participate in the NoNestle boycott, but frankly, that’s been going on for decades and Nestle’s artificial baby milk sales are still growing.  I think it’s time for a different kind of direct action.  It’s time to not just cut off their profits, but to actually take their profits.  It’s time to OWN NESTLE.

What do you think, who wants to OWN NESTLE with me??

*My numbers are in US dollars, so some of that increase is actually due to currency conversion


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This post could alternately be titled: “Math is Not Erica Jong’s Forté” or “Woe is We: Erica Jong Wishes Americans Were as Rich as the Chinese”.

If you saw Monday’s Room for Debate on the New York Times website, then you’ll know what I mean.  The topic was Motherhood vs. Feminism and it included some spectacular responses.  But one response was, I have to say, not so spectacular.  Erica Jong may be an incredible feminist thinker, but that fact that she confuses Ann Romney for an Attachment Parent, shows that she’s seriously out of touch with parenting.  More than that, her arguments betrayed a serious lack of understanding for the economics of childrearing, both at the individual level and on a global scale.

Consider her closing argument:

So let’s look at the whole picture, not snapshots. An affluent mom who doesn’t need to earn can afford co-sleeping, making pure food, using cloth diapers and being perfectly ecological. Let’s admit that it takes resources.

Ok, why don’t we look at that whole picture Erica?  My whole picture, to be exact.  With the exception of being perfect in ecology or anything else, that little statement pretty much fits us to a tee.  My husband does earn enough from his job that I don’t ‘need‘ to earn additional income in order to make the mortgage payment.  And yes, I stay home with our children.  But where Erica’s math doesn’t add up is her assertion that I do so because I can afford to drain our resources for the sake of my chosen parenting style.  It simply isn’t the case.

Because I stay home, I don’t have to earn $19,200 to put my children in a moderately priced daycare this year.  (And let’s not even get me started on the feminist hornet’s nest that is cheap childcare provided by immigrant women, often forced to leave their own babies in another country in order to come here and earn a less-than-legal wage looking after our kids.)

Because I breastfeed my children, I don’t have to earn the $2,400 that formula would cost.

Because I tucked my children up into the bed we already owned, I didn’t have to earn the (minimum) $200 a crib, mattress and sheet set would cost.  Nor do I have to earn the additional $100 for a Pack n’ Play to travel with.  My husband and I also wake up well-rested (unlike this poor schmuck) so that the performance of our daytime tasks is less compromised.

Because I have cloth diapers and wipes, my kids’ bums cost me $600 instead of $5,200.  Sure, it takes a bit of time to wash them, but obviously not that much, since my wage-earning husband takes on that chore in our house.

Because I don’t have to travel to a job every day, I don’t have to spend $1,440 on transit passes this year, or 10 hours per week commuting.  Let alone the near $20,000 it would cost to buy a used vehicle, insure and fuel it if transit were not an option.

Because I don’t earn a wage, the tax man lets my husband keep $1,700 more of his every year.

What does it add up to?  I would have to dish out at least $27,000 for the privilege of going to work this year.  The job I left when I had my son paid me $31,200 after tax.  I value time with my children a lot higher than that, and so does my husband.

Now, I expect everyone to point out that I did still forfeit $4,200 every year in order to stay home.  And were I not affluent, I wouldn’t have been able to make that choice.

But hang on, Erica Jong!  There’s still something missing from this equation.  Oh yes: I earned my salary – more than TWICE the minimum wage (based on hours worked) – because I have a university degree, paid for by my affluent parents.  In short, it’s only because I was affluent to begin with that there was even a snowball’s chance in hell that wage earn would be an option.  Is it any wonder that so many families, especially those headed by women are forced (yes, forced) out of the workforce and onto social assistance?

Because I can afford to work, I don’t have to stay home. 

You could pit one mother’s account books against another’s all day long though, so Erica did us the favour of applying her fuzzy math on a global level: namely in the ludicrous suggestion that the Chinese are somehow rolling in dough while Americans are in an economic shambles.  Last time I checked, the United States had six times the per capita GDP that China did and it was 51% of the Chinese population, not the American population, that had no toilets.

It is true, that if we lived in China, our parents would probably be participating in the care of our children.  But not because the Chinese are more affluent than (North) Americans.  They would be participating because the Chinese, as a society, value children and child rearing in a way that America categorically does not.  They understand that someone has to raise the children, whether it be their parents, grandparents or that poorly paid immigrant daycare worker.  They understand that providing your aging grandparents with free housing so that they can retire and be loving and invested caregivers for the newest generation is a win-win situation.

So Erica, if Americans find they can’t retire, perhaps it’s time to rethink the math.  It’s time to make sure that no grandparent is forced out of retirement because they had the audacity to get cancer without private insurance.  It’s time to stop supporting a political party whose primary objective is to subjugate women into perpetual child-bearing.  And it’s time that American’s, as a society, put a value on children and childrearing by demanding paid maternity leave.

Once you get that equation right, then parents can choose to stay home, or not; grandparents can choose to retire, or not; our children can get a little bit more of that perfection we all seek for them; and we can all stop bickering over whose diapers are better.

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“I’m going to teach you to be a feminist.”

Those words were part of the newborn peptalk I gave to my precious Lady Fair in the hospital only hours after her birth.  They were her first encounter with patriarchy, at the hands (or rather the lips) of her own mother.

If you’re wondering how that possibly constitutes patriarchy, I’ll tell you: because I’ve never said the same thing to her brother.  The second those words came out of my lips I realized that fact.  I realized that for two years, while we’ve been modeling our values for our son, I’ve never consciously thought about making him a feminist.  And then, almost the very moment my daughter was born, I put the onus on her to fight for the rights she should be entitled to as a human being.  Because even while I think I’m fighting it, our society is so steeped in patriarchy that we all imbibe it and we all participate in it.

My son, aside from being male, is also white, able-bodied and middle-class.  In other words, heaped with privilege from the day of his birth.  That privilege is granted to him by the structural kyriarchy in which our society operates.  To partake of that privilege is to perpetuate it.  Thus, by not teaching my son to question his own privilege as fully as I teach my daughter to demand her equality, I indoctrinate them both into the selfsame system.

If we want to end patriarchy, then we need male feminists just as much as we need female feminists.  We need those who currently possess the structurally-imbued privilege to utilize it on behalf of those who don’t, and by so doing, to reject it.  The Famous Five, after all, had to ask the male members of the Supreme Court to grant them the personhood they sought.  That fact in no way demeans their work, it just reminds us that equality has to be an equally shared goal.

So, Little Man, consider yourself forewarned: “I’m going to teach you to be a feminist.”

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The Conservative government’s attempt to criminalize abortion me scared enough that a couple of weeks ago I actually wrote to both my own MP (Judy Sgro) who happens to be vice-chair of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women, as well as to the Prime Minister’s office.  So far I’ve heard nothing back from Ms Sgro, but I did get a brief, ambiguous and frankly unsatisfying response from the PM’s Office.  Let’s have a look, shall we?

My Letter:

Dear Mr. Prime Minister,

As Prime Minister you have stated publicly on more than one occasion that
your government has no plan to reopen the abortion debate.  Yet, a member
of your own government, MP Stephen Woodworth, has done just that by tabling
Motion 312 ‘Canada’s 400 year old definition of human being.’  This motion
is a blatant attempt to not only criminalize abortion, but also to infringe
on the rights of all childbearing citizens of this country.

The motion wrongly asserts that the definition of a human being found in
section 223 of the Criminal Code of Canada is founded in a lack of
understanding that a foetus is biologically human prior to birth and that,
having now improved our understanding of human gestation, the definition
can be changed.  However, the very wording of the section in question
displays that this definition is borne not of a lack of understanding of
biology, but of a complete understanding of the ramifications of extending
legal protection to an unborn child under the Act.

To extend legal personhood to a foetus is to automatically infringe on the
personhood of the woman in whose body the foetus resides.  Whether pro- or
anti-choice, no one relishes the thought of terminating a pregnancy, but
changing the Act in the manner suggested would expose women to prosecution
for all of their personal medical decisions in pregnancy as well as many of
their non-medical choices, and this does every Canadian a disservice.  The
best way to reduce the number of abortions that are sought is not to
infringe on the mother’s rights, but rather to strengthen her rights.  It
is not to extend rights to the unborn child, but to provide the best care
and opportunities to those who are born.  We need to protect the right of
women to choose when and if they become pregnant by ensuring unmitigated
access to contraception and providing protection from sexual violence.  We
need to remove barriers to childbirth and parenthood by providing coverage
of maternity services to all residents; by creating a minimum maternity
leave benefit that ensures that low income women can afford to utilize the
benefits offered by their government; and by increasing childcare subsidies
for low income families who must work out of the home.

I urge you to keep your promise to Canadians and end the abortion debate
that your government has now opened.  I also ask you to encourage Mr.
Woodworth to prove that he genuinely does care about all human beings by
working to provide these and other protections and services to the women
and children who are already citizens of this country.

Thank you very much,


Krista Fairles


And now, the response I got:

On behalf of the Prime Minister, thank you for your recent correspondence regarding Member of Parliament Stephen Woodworth’s statement proposing that Parliament lead an examination into human rights protection for children before birth in the later stages of gestation.

This is an emotional issue for both sides.  However, the Prime Minister has been very clear that our Government has no plan to reopen this debate.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to write.


So, why do I say this is perplexing?  Well, for one, there’s that bit about him having no intention to reopen the debate even though the whole reason I’m writing is because he HAS reopened it.  So either he’s confused about what his members are doing or I am…  Or, if I let go of my cynicism for a minute I might be able to believe this to mean that he won’t allow the motion to pass vote.  But frankly, I’m not holding my breath.

But the bigger issue is this bit: “human rights protection for children before birth in the later stages of gestation.”  Who-what now?  See, the motion says nothing about what stage of gestation should be examined, it just says before birth.  And the way the law works is that you have to spell things out very specifically.  Before birth means, legally, everything before birth.  The law isn’t able to judge that he meant the last week or month before birth only.  So again, either he’s confused about what his party is doing, or he’s a party to what his party is doing and will be spinning the bill in this highly untruthful way when it is debated.

Let’s hope it’s not the latter.

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For the past many weeks I’ve been watching in horror as anti-woman rhetoric has become the focal point of the Republican Party primaries in the United States.  I have read in shock as state after state proposes and debates laws that so infringe on a woman’s right to bodily integrity as to meet the legal definition of government-mandated, doctor-performed rape.

I’ve watched and I’ve felt smug.  I’ve joked to friends that while American politics has devolved into a nationwide campaign of misogyny, we have nothing to complain about except that our governing party may have hired someone with a ridiculous alias to make telephone calls asking voters to go to the wrong polling station.  And asked politely, no less!  But it turns out, we’re not immune to the insanity after all.

At the beginning of February, Stephen Woodworth, honourable member for Kitchener Centre, tabled a motion to convene a committee tasked with redefining fetuses as ‘human beings’ under the Criminal Code.

Never mind that this motion, entitled “Canada’s 400 Year Old Definition of Human Being”  is a blatant attempt to criminalize abortion.  Never mind that his bias is unequivocally revealed within the motion itself when he refers to the “fundamental human rights of a child before the moment of complete birth” as though the definition had already been changed.  Never mind that this wording would be prejudicial to the consideration of the motion.  And never mind that this is an issue that our Prime Minister promised us would never be opened by his government.

Let’s instead talk about Mr. Woodworth’s assertion that the current law exists because, at the time of its creation, we did not understand that an unborn child was human.

I think the first question we need to answer is "What is this woman?"

For starters, the criminal code of Canada is not, in actual fact, 400 years old.  It’s 120-odd years old.  But even if it were as old as this motion’s title suggests, would we really think that it was drafted out of a belief that a “child magically transforms into a human being when their little toe pops out of the birth canal” as Mr. Woodworth says?  Even without ultrasounds and fetal monitors, I’m fairly certain we would all be aware that we don’t begin our lives as tadpoles or bunnies, and that our humanity is not solely the result of Professor McGonagall bringing her transfiguration skills into the birthing room.  Is section 223 of the criminal code, then, a result of the ignorance or stupidity of our early lawmakers?  No, it is a result of their complete understanding of the legal travesty that would result if the remainder of the criminal code applied to unborn children.

Let’s take the very next section of the code, for example.  Section 224 states that “Where a person, by an act or omission, does any thing that results in the death of a human being, he causes the death of that human being…”.  (Emphasis is mine).  Defining a foetus as a human being for the purpose of this law would make just about every foetal loss an indictable offence.

Amniocentesis, for example, results in a miscarriage once out of every 200 procedures performed.  Those would all become murders.

Babies who die in the course of a vaginal childbirth would all have been murdered too.  Caesarean sections can be performed, after all, at the first sign of distress on a fetal monitor.  How many such charges do you think would have to be laid before every woman is offered a C-section the minute she walks into the hospital?  And women would no longer be able to decline these ‘offers’ without risking prosecution themselves.

Stillbirths are more likely to occur after the expected due date, so any woman who refuses an automatic induction or C-section and subsequently loses her child is similarly exposed to homicide charges.  Even deaths as a result of genetic abnormalities could be argued as being the result of ‘omitting’ to undergo genetic testing with your partner prior to conception.

And what about the “lesser” charges?  Section 215 relates to the duty of parents and guardians to their children.  Any child born with spina bifida is evidence that his/her mother failed her duty to consume enough folic acid and thus caused “the health of that person to be endangered permanently”.  That mother could face up to five years in prison if her child were considered a person at the time that she neglected her vitamins.

No, the Criminal Code’s definition of human being was not created in ignorance.  It was created because our lawmakers understood that even if they could send every mother to jail that had an abortion, it would not justify having to send even a single mother to jail who is grieving the unexpected loss of her child.  A law like that protects no one, including foetuses.

I think it’s pretty clear that, 400 years later, it’s actually Mr. Woodworth with the deficient understanding if he fails to see the abhorrent consequences should his proposed committee make the changes he seeks.

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