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Did secularism win out? The debate over the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill

By Steven Kettell


The debate over the 2008 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill marks the latest in a series of conflicts between secularism and religion in the public sphere. The failure of religiously motivated campaigners to alter the Bill's most substantive and controversial provisions, however, should not be seen as a victory for a homogeneous secular camp. Although campaigners motivated by religious belief were almost universally opposed to the Bill, secular campaigners reflected a more varied mix of opinion. Moreover, the degree of organisation and mobilisation shown by the religious lobby during the course of the debate, are a sign that attempts to secure a greater role for religion in the public sphere are likely to remain a prominent feature of British political life

Topics: BL, QP
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Year: 2009
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