Editorial: Abortion issue a hot topic

The annual multi-congregational rally against abortion was held along Cliffe Ave. on Sunday and, judging by the comments on the Record website and Facebook page, the issue remains a hot – and polarizing – subject.

No sooner had the photo been posted, did comments start appearing in droves on both sites.

And while the pro-lifers made their stance known on the streets, the pro-choicers were quick to respond online.

It’s an issue that tugs at the heartstrings of most people, and one on which very few people can remain neutral.

The pro-lifers, by and large, are fighting for the rights of the unborn, based upon their argument that life begins at conception.

The pro-choicers, while not as adamantly opposed to such an argument, choose more unitedly in favour of the stance that a woman’s body is hers and should not be governed by the state.

The reason the debate has continued for as many decades as it has is because of the validity of the arguments both sides offer. And while the arguments for and against will rage on, one thing is certain: legal or not, abortions will continue.

Therein lies possibly the most serious argument in the debate.

Not that “it’s going to happen anyway, why not legalize it?”, but rather that when it becomes illegal, those in need go underground for the process. Black market. Backstreet surgery. And the dangers associated with illegal surgeries are real – and well documented.

Of all the signs along Cliffe Ave. on Sunday, the one that read “abortion hurts women” was possibly the most curious, because, while that statement could be true, the alternative is beyond argument: illegal abortions kill women.

As for the comments insinuating that those at the rally need a reality check or should join the 21st century, here’s a sobering thought: Roughly 25 per cent of the world’s population lives in countries where abortion is either illegal or highly restricted. Welcome to the 21st century. That is the reality. And with that in mind, the debate will not end anytime soon.