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Ex-Quebec MPs Blast Motion To Study When Life Begins

Four former Quebec MPs are joining forces to fight a private member's motion calling for further study on when human life begins.

The ex-MPs are opposed to motion 312, proposed last month by Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth, who wants a parliamentary committee to study the fetus's legal status.

Former Bloc Québécois MPs Nicole Demers and Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral are working with Alexandra Mendes and Lisa Zarac – two ex-Liberal MPs – to denounce Woodworth's proposal.

"What right does Stephen Woodworth have to flout our parliamentary procedures to reopen debate on a woman's most fundamental right to choose what happens to her body?" asked Mendes, who represented Brossard-La Prairie.

Woodworth introduced his motion in late April on the grounds that current Canadian law on human life is based on a centuries-old definition imported from Britain.

When he announced the motion, Woodworth had argued he was simply interested in updating the law to agree with 21st-century medicine. He later conceded the motion could allow Canadians "to have an honest discussion about the abortion question."

But the four ex-MPs from Quebec say the motion is a major step backwards for Canada.

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