The report found at the link below describes surgery performed on a child’s heart before his or her birth. The individual whose heart was repaired is referred to as a “child,” but is not recognized as a human being, by Canadian law. In Canadian law, this child has the same status as a wart on a nose. Even though we know it to be nonsensical, it would not be wrong to say that, as far as Canadian law is concerned, the mother in this case simply had two hearts, since the child is a non-entity!
This, of course, is an obvious falsehood under any understanding of the real facts. All relevant evidence establishes that the child in this case is a human being, contrary to Parliament’s assertion the she or he is not a human being. Because this false assertion is sent as a law by Parliament into courtrooms across the country, this law is no different in kind from a witness who is sent into a courtroom to assert a falsehood. It is perjury.
What are the implications for democracy when a governing authority like Parliament is unchallenged in asserting an obvious falsehood in the courts? This question is extremely grave. It deserves our attention.
A democracy depends upon everyone, even the highest authority, being equal under the law. This can only be accomplished in a country ruled by law, not ruled by the whims of those who govern. If those with power can impose their whims upon others in the guise of “laws” then they clearly are “more equal than others” (to use George Orwell’s ironic characterization).
If those with power can circumvent the rule of law by asserting, without challenge, obvious falsehoods in court, then we are ruled by their whims, not by law.
Abortion advocates argue that if Parliament fails to assert this obvious falsehood on their behalf it would prevent, or at least hinder, them from justifying the practice of abortion. They are concerned that a law which truthfully recognizes the reality that a child is a human being well before the moment of complete birth would necessarily lead to laws which give precedence to the interests of the child over the interests of the mother.
In fact, failing to assert the perjury that the child in this case is not a human being in no way is equivalent to asserting that the interests of the child should always outweigh the interests of the mother. Whenever the interests of two individuals conflict, it is always possible that just principles will require that the interests of one warrant priority over the interests of the other.
What should never be accepted in a democracy, however, is that a conflict between the interests of two individuals is resolved with an obviously false assertion by those with power that one of the individuals is not a human being, contrary to all relevant evidence! This is a particularly savage and inhumane species of perjury!
Subverting democratic principles with perjured laws is nothing new. It famously happened in Canada with the so-called “persons” law in the last century. Australians only abolished in 1967 their law which disqualified aboriginals from counting as human beings in the national census.
Indeed, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which articulated the contrary principle in the broadest, most liberal, way with its pre-eminent preamble that “recognition of the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of every member of the human family is the foundation for freedom, justice and peace in the world…..” was only adopted in 1948.
Still, it is remarkable that, given the chance in 2012 to embrace the principle of that Declaration, our Canadian Parliament opted instead to embrace perjury! Even more remarkable, those who advocate such an out-dated, inhumane and anti-democratic violation of a liberal, progressive principle of human rights routinely describe themselves as “progressive!” Nothing could be further from the truth!
To return to the question I posed above, do you think that perjury by governing authorities is justified? If you do not think so, it is up to you as a responsible citizen to fight for democracy and the rule of law, just as past generations have done!