St. John's abortion protest draws advocates from both sides
Scores took part in an annual pro-life demonstration at a St. John's hospital Friday, although they were met with a loud protest from pro-choice advocates.
The annual Good Friday march at the Health Sciences Centre has been held for decades, and this year well over 100 people, most of them affiliated with the Roman Catholic and other churches.
"There are so many things wrong with abortion," said participant Jim Hegarty, who said he was not bothered by the presence of pro-choice demonstrators.
"They have their mindset, and of course equally the Catholic church and the various other denominations who are with us, so to speak, they have their reasons for wanting the abortion problem to cease."
The pro-choice side was decidedly smaller, but — with placards and chants — had a louder if not more obvious presence.
Pro-choice activist Rolanda Ryan said the head count might be misleading, as there is what she called "complacency" among many Canadians about existing laws that make abortion legal.
"I think we just need to counter the anti-choice protest, and let everybody know there is a lot of people who support women's rights," she told CBC News.
Amy Ryan, who described herself as a Catholic, said she felt compelled to stand with the pro-choice side.
"I fast for Good Friday," she said. "He died so that we could have a choice …I respect their right to protest, but it's Good Friday, and [they are] ruining my day."