Ana Lita to speak on bioethics and religion

  • post Type / Campaigns
  • Date / 27 November 2006

Ana Lita, Director of the IHEU-Appignani Center for Bioethics, is to speak to New York City Atheists on Thursday, 30 November 2006. In her talk, she will argue that the religious right is opposing lifesaving advances in gynecology and obstetrics because of its “medieval” attitudes toward sex.

Dr. Lita notes that those representing the Religious Right say they are opposed to vaccinating girls between 11 and 26 years of age with the recently developed Human Papilloma Virus vaccine, which can prevent cervical cancer. “These religious fundamentalists, who describe themselves as champions of marriage and the family, speculate that vaccinating young girls will give these girls the idea to engage in sex before marriage,” says Dr. Lita. “This obsession with virginity before marriage is a characteristic of many fundamentalist religious groups.”

She points out that in the U.S., some 10,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year and about 3,700 die of the disease.

There is also opposition from the Religious Right to the use of donated or purchased human eggs to help infertile couples have children. “The Religious Right feels that people should not play god and create embryos in vitro,” says Dr. Lita, who has a Ph.D. in Applied Ethics and Social Philosophy. “We seculars feel that conservative religious values are being imposed on our right to a better life through scientific progress.”

Dr. Lita is also opposed to the custom of female circumcision, performed in some African tribal rituals and now discovered still being done among Africans who have immigrated to the U.S. This dangerous mutilation of young girls, which often causes health problems, is also based on myths and traditions of another era, she points out.

Dr. Lita will speak to New York City Atheists, Inc. on November 30th about the secular community’s struggle to overcome the Religious Right’s obstructive attitudes about scientific gynecological advances and what her organization is doing to inform, educate and enlighten those who use myth, legends and outdated ideas to hold back progress.

WHAT: Impact of Religious Beliefs on Scientific Medical Advances, by Dr. Ana Lita, Director of The International Humanist and Ethical Union-Appignani Center for Bioethics.

WHEN: Thursday, November 30 at 6:30 P.M.

WHERE: Editorial Freelancers Association, 71 West 23rd Street (6th Ave) – Room 1910, New York City, NY USA

COST: Free. No reservations needed.

For further information, contact:

Jane Everhart, Press Officer
New York City Atheists, Inc.


Kenneth Bronstein, President
New York City Atheists, Inc.

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