Of course, the whole thing is a scam -- one that our local journalists couldn't or didn't see through.
Deep down, I don't believe Woodworth isn't interested at all in this question. I think that what he really wants to do is ban abortion (in consonance with his Catholic duty), and he's using this bill to try to achieve his goal through semantic games.
Suppose you're building a house. You dig the foundation. Is it a house yet? You pour the concrete. Is it a house yet? You start framing the house. Is it a house yet? You put in the window frames. Is it a house yet?
When does it become a house?
Some people might say it is a house as soon as you start building it. Others might say it is a house when it is ready to move in. There's no correct answer here, because the word "house" covers a lot of ground -- think of "abandoned house", "ruined house", "half-built house", "reconstructed house", and so forth.
Any line that you draw is arbitrary.
Of course, for legal reasons, sometimes we have to draw these arbitrary lines. Why should a 19-year-old be able to drink in Ontario, but not someone who is aged 18 years 364 days? This distinction makes no sense at all; it's purely an artificial legal construct that represents a guess about responsibility and maturity.
Arguments about DNA miss the point, too. It's not about whether the fetus has human DNA, because it clearly does. The argument is all about at what stage the fetus becomes a "person" (another ill-defined word!) that has the rights we expect people to have in a free society. And it's about how long those rights can be subservient to the rights of the woman in whose body the fetus is growing.
Viewed in this way, deciding whether a child is "a human being before the moment of complete birth" is just a political game. I don't expect much different from politicians, but I did expect more from Woodworth -- I had much more respect for him before this.
If he were sincere, he would answer my question, "What penalty would be appropriate for a woman who has an abortion?" He refuses to answer, and our local journalists are too cowardly to ask.
I'm happy to see that the bill went down to defeat, 203 to 91. But the main thing is to elect someone else to Parliament next time around.