Carmelo Scime continues to be voice for the unborn
You will find him most Friday mornings quietly walking up and down the sidewalk in front of the Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre on Concession Street.
The sign “Justice for the Unborn”, which is beginning to weigh heavy on his 82-year-old body, lies across one shoulder.
“Because life is precious,” Carmelo Scime replies without hesitation, when asked why he continues to wage his often lonely vigil that began in front of the then Henderson General Hospital some 25 years ago and he believes abortions continue to be performed at the site. “Without life, you and I wouldn’t be here.”
Scime, a retired doctor who left his family medical practice two years ago after 54 years of treating patients, said he began protesting following his Friday morning medical rounds and has kept at it ever since.
The former coroner usually arrives with his sign around 9:15 a.m. and walks for about an hour.
“I meet new people all the time,” said Scime, who added he’s also been running in to former patients.
A graduate of theUniversity of Toronto medical school and Hamilton’s Italian Citizen of the Year in 2009 (as chosen by the local chapter of the Sons of Italy) Scime said the roots of his opposition to abortion can be found in the Hippocratic Oath which he took upon graduating from medical school.
The oath dates back to fifth or fourth century BCE and is named for the Greek Hippocrates, the so called father of medicine, although who actually wrote the words is open to debate.
Part of the oath reads “Similarly, I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy.”
While most Canadian and American medical schools have either abandoned the oath or opted for a modern version that does not reference abortions or various Greek gods, the traditional oath still means a lot to this retired doctor.
“It’s only when you take the oath that you become a physician,” Scime said. “Otherwise you’re just a doctor.”
Always dressed up with a jacket and tie, the soft-spoken and polite Scime said he’s had a few “discussions” over the years with people who don’t agree with his stand on abortion.
He’s even had his sign taken and broken.
But the father of seven and grandfather of 13 said he has no plans to give up his weekly vigil, even if he’s slowing down and now walks with a bit of a limp.
Heather Pullen, manger of public relations at Hamilton Health Sciences, confirmed HHS does therapeutic abortions but for safety and privacy reasons she would not give any further information.