Our Executive Producer, Jennifer Moroz joined Anna Maria in our studio to check in with what you've had to say about the stories of the week.
Uterus Transplants: In the world of transplantation, uterus transplants are very new. And this week history was made when a frozen embryo was implanted in a woman with a transplanted uterus.
The idea behind the procedure is that the uterus is removed after a year or two, presumably after the woman has borne children. The anti-rejection drugs necessary for the duration are not meant to be taken long term.
The procedure raises lots of ethical red flags and Tuesday, we took a look at some of them.
We didn't find a lot of favour for the idea among listeners.
Ingrid Dabringer of Sault Ste Marie, Ontario had this to say:
If you were born without a uterus, perhaps you shouldn't be passing your genes on. From a meditative perspective life exists in a balance between, "Get what you want and Want what you've got." When did our definition of "liberty" jump the track?
And here's one more comment from Andy Muirhead of North Vancouver who writes:
One of the more problematic facets of modern approaches to medicine, is the tendency to seek new problems to solve rather than assuring that old and common problems are actually dealt with. I can think of no better example than this one.
And on Twitter, Valerie posted:
I wouldn't be upset if I found out I was infertile. Women's reproductive health is too focused on wants, not needs.
And Hanna Routly added this comment:
These controversial uterus transplants are linked to the historical brainwashing of women to think their lives are incomplete without kids.
Leilani Muir update: In 2011 we spoke to Leilani Muir, an Alberta woman who was institutionalized at the the Provincial Training School for Mental Defectives, as it was called then, in Red Deer after her parents decided they had no use for daughter. It was 1955 and she was only 10 years old at the time, and didn't understand that her new house was not really a home.
Well it was at the Provincial Training School, also known as the Michener Centre, that Leilani Muir would be unknowingly sterilized, with the written consent of her mother. Muir later successfully sued the Alberta government for what happened to her and hundreds of others who were sterilized under Alberta's eugenics law that was in place at the time.
Well, there's been a surprising, ironic end to the story of the Michener Centre. The Alberta government has announced it will close the 90 year old facility and move the 125 current residents into group homes. The announcement was made by Frank Oberle, associate minister of Services for Persons with Disabilities on Monday.
Bruce Uditsky is CEO of the Alberta Association for Community Living. He greeted the announcement as good news. And you'd think that this would be welcome news, given the history of the place, but the interesting thing is that not everyone is pleased with the announcement of the Michener Centre's demise.
Bill Lough is president of the Society of Parents and Friends of Michener Centre. His brother David lived there for 27 years. We reached him in Sundre, Alberta.
We gave the last word on this to Leilani Muir, the woman we interviewed over a year ago in The Current's Game Changer series. She took the Alberta government to court for forcibly sterilizing her at the age of 14 when she was a resident at the Michener Centre.
Not only did she win her case, the government was eventually forced to give compensation to 700 other victims of wrongful sterilization. She gave her reaction to the news of the Michener Centre's closure to CBC Radio in Edmonton.
The Centre is due to close for good in April 2014.
Women & the Church: With the election of a new Pope, there has been lots of buzz throughout the Catholic community about the way forward. Tuesday, we heard from Sister Joan Chittister, an activist nun and founder of the Global Peace Initiative of Women. And we also heard from Reverend Paul Sullins, professor of sociology at the Catholic University of America.
Kathy Grant of Richmond Hill, Ontario takes issue with this segment as she writes:
How would Christ deal with the current situation in this Church - deal with things that Reverend Sullins calls "this sex abuse stuff'?"
In our times, who is really following the examples of this Christ he speaks of? Victims who stand, speak and bear the cross are closer to the truth that Sullins' speaks of.
And here's another comment from Kim Misner of Wakefield, Quebec:
Sister Joan is doing exactly what Jesus wanted from his followers: helping those in need. Reverend Sullins and the Catholic Church have failed to remember that Jesus lived by the tenet that one should back up words with action.
If the Church were to follow the example set by Jesus and Sister Joan, former Catholics like me might consider returning to the pew.
To Bear Arms: While the US struggles to find consensus on gun ownership in that country, on Monday we heard one man's story about what it meant to pull the trigger in self-defense. Johnny Slaughter shot an intruder in his home and the event has made a lasting mark on his life.
To that, Robert Sciuk of Oshawa sent these thoughts:
The message I take away is that 00-BUCK is a good load for home defense, and Mr. Slaughter has a long life ahead of him to get over the trauma.
In Canada, safe storage laws prevent Canadians from legally using lethal force, and the law has stacked the deck in favour of those who would cause us harm. Our laws must be changed to permit defense of one's home and loved ones.
On Facebook, Jeff Moncalieri posted this:
If I had the drop on an intruder, I would give him one warning to get down. After that the choice is no longer mine to make.
As bad as I might feel after, it would be better than allowing myself and my family to be victimized.
Hitch-Hiking: We've been asking for your hitch-hiking stories and yesterday we heard some of them. This was all in light of a program in Bowen Island, BC that is re-inventing hitchhiking.
It seems everyone has a good hitch-hiking story ... Sabrina Malach posted this on Facebook:
I felt silly burning fuel with just me in the car so I would stop by bus stops and pick people up. My friend once suggested I start an organization called the Urban Hitchhiker but I never did. The worst thing that ever happened was someone spilled Gatorade on my mat.
And we aired another story from our feedback line from John in Belleville.
We also received this from John Harkin of Ucluelet, B.C:
In our small town, many people hitch-hike and everyday you see someone with their thumb out. But there is one guy who stands out. His name is Hitch-hike Mike and he's kinda famous around these parts. He is one of a kind.
We couldn't let that pass so we called Hitch-Hike Mike.
We love hearing what you have to say and there's lots of ways to get in touch. Tweet us @thecurrentcbc or find us on Facebook. You can e-mail us from our website where you can also download the podcast and check out lots of interesting background and photos about what we've been covering. Or call us toll-free, the number is 1 877 287 7366. Or send us a postcard. Box 500, Station A, Toronto, M5W 1E6.
Other segments from today's show: