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HAT Forum - "Abortion from a Humanist Perspective"

  • The 519, Rm 303 519 Church Street Toronto, ON, M4Y 2C9 Canada (map)

Abortion in Canada is legal at all stages of pregnancy,[1] and is governed by the Canada Health Act.[2] While some non-legal obstacles exist, Canada is one of only a few nations with no legal restrictions on abortion.[3][4] Regulations and accessibility vary between provinces.

In 2015, 100,104 abortions were reported in Canada. This number has been quite stable over the past 15 years. 

  1. When does a zygote become a human life?  Conception? Heart beat?  Ability to live outside the womb? Birth?
  2. Moral point of view
  3. Legal point of view
  4. Religious point of view
  5. Differences between pro-choice and pro-life
  6. Preventative measures – sex ed, contraceptio
  7. What parties have a legitimate interest in the abortion question beyond the pregnant woman? Society? The Embryo/Fetus? The father? 

3 of HAT's Guiding Principles may guide us in this discussion:

(ii) The Use of Reason: Reason provides a common standard against which we can test our perceptions. Without reason there is no valid tool for making judgements.

(iii) Knowledge: The only thing that can be called knowledge is that which is firmly grounded in human understanding and empirical verification. Without human comprehension and verification we lose our connection with the natural world around us.

(vii) Human Ethics: Ethical decisions should be made in the context of real people, real situations, real human needs and aspirations and the consideration of real consequences. Humanism combines personal liberty with social responsibility. It affirms the dignity of every person, the right of the individual to the greatest possible freedom compatible with the rights of others, and the need for community. Without this context we risk the worst excesses of ideology.

On this day we will do our best together to understand and analyze this important societal issue - to find some common ground and separate the signal from the noise.

Earlier Event: May 14
Beyond Believing