Editorial: Fundamental debate

POSTED: 06/27/11 2:17 PM

Justice Minister Roland Duncan opened the way for what will without any doubt be a fierce debate about legalizing abortion and euthanasia in St. Maarten. The Minister said yesterday in a radio broadcast that he personally tends to favor a woman’s right to decide about her own body. From this we may conclude that Duncan also favors legalizing abortion.
That is a courageous position to take, knowing the inevitable resistance this will trigger from for instance the Council of Churches.

But abortion goes beyond the moral issue. We do not have firm data about illegal abortions in St. Maarten but reports from Curacao indicate that this happens more frequent that most people are ready to believe.

The health of (mostly young) mothers is at stake in this discussion, as are the social conditions that befall babies that are not really wanted.

Minister Duncan hinted that he is also preparing for public debate about legalizing euthanasia. Both abortion and euthanasia are topics that will become the subject of, as the Minister expressed it, extremely fundamental debate.

That debate could heat up pretty quickly, because Duncan intends to submit proposals relevant to these social issues to the parliament by the end of next month.

We are looking forward to this debate and wish that common sense will prevail over ideological hobbyhorses.

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