Volume 92, Issue 85

Wednesday, March 10, 1999


London ranks low on safety scale

Conflict motion creates conflict

Harichy arrest not for medical reasons

U of T cashes in Varsity Blues rights

Debating both pros

New rez struts its stuff in video

Prof excellence rewarded

March the month for vehicle violations


Caught on campus

Caught on campus too

Debating both pros

By Clare Elias and Warren Flood
Gazette Staff

A heated abortion debate was waged before a split audience concerning the rights of a woman and the status of a fetus.

Western-King's Life presented last night's debate as a forum to discuss both pro-life and pro-choice stances. The pro-life side was represented by Scott Klusendorf, a biomedical ethicist from Stand to Reason Ministries, based in California. The pro-choice side, represented by Rob Silver and Amber Dolman, were from Western's Debating Society, although they said they do not endorse their position of the argument.

The focal point of the debate was when and where life begins. The pro-life argument advocated that life begins at conception and argued the unborn will develop into a human being. "The zygote is a human entity and it naturally develops into a human," Klusendorf said. The pro-choice side contested this theory, based on their scientific reasoning that life begins at birth. "Science can't decide when life begins," Dolman said.

However, the pro-life argument countered by upholding the instability of scientific facts and said the only certainty of life is that of the woman. Silver and Dolman argued the liberty of the female and her rights must supercede the fetus' right to life. "The liberty of women and their freedom is sacred and the state's law cannot control who she is," Silver said.

Both sides made strong cases for their positions, however, some of the audience remained dissuaded. "A debate is not the proper forum to form an objective decision. People go in with preconceived notions that are only further strengthened by their side," said Janis Lemon, a third-year actuarial science student.

Cheryl Richardson, a third-year physiotherapy student, did not agree with the presentation's structure. "I think it should have been an information session, without rebuttals. There were not enough facts," she said.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999