Who’s Allowed in the Public Square? And who Gets to Decide?

by The Center for Bioethics and Culture on October 13, 2011

By Jennifer Lahl, CBC President

Despite all our society’s talk of civility these days, it seems the public square is only becoming more of a lion’s den. And people of a certain stripe are being excluded or marginalized purely on the basis of their religious beliefs.

Case in point: Recently, I was invited to speak at the annual professional conference of the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society on the topic of my film Eggsploitation, a documentary which explores the issue of egg “donation.” When the invitation was first given, I told the conference organizer that I knew the message of my film and most of my writings on Assisted Reproductive Technology in general, and egg donation in particular, would not be very welcome. In fact, I made it clear that I had no intention of coming into the lion’s den. I was assured by the conference organizer that I would be treated civilly, and that they really wanted to hear from me and engage all sides of the issue, hearing from all points of view. So I agreed to go and present.

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