Motion 312, or M-312 is a private member’s bill proposed by Conservative backbencher Stephen Woodworth asking for the appointment of a twelve member special committee to review Subsection 223(1) of the Criminal Code for the purpose of examining existing medical evidence to demonstrate whether or not a child is a human being before ‘complete birth,’ the legal impact and consequences on the human rights of a ‘child’ before the moment of ‘complete birth’ and what options are available to amend or replace Subsection 223(1), which has thus far serviced our Criminal Law more than adequately for several hundred years.
Subsection 223(1) of the Criminal Code was written as part of British Common Law and states that:
223. (1) A child becomes a human being within the meaning of this Act when it has completely proceeded, in a living state, from the body of its mother, whether or not
(a) it has breathed;
(b) it has an independent circulation; or
(c) the navel string is severed.
Marginal note: Killing child
(2) A person commits homicide when he causes injury to a child before or during its birth as a result of which the child dies after becoming a human being.