By Hilary White
LONDON, November 6, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The opening of UK’s new Parliament saw the introduction of the Labour government’s new Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill that has been heavily criticised by pro-life advocates as a new “attack on the dignity of human life”. The bill was lauded by homosexual activists in Britain as a “major step forward” in allowing two women to both be registered formally as a child’s “mother” on birth certificates.
The bill, formerly titled the Human Tissues and Embryos Bill, which is likely to pass with Parliament’s heavy Labour majority, will enshrine as a legal reality the homosexual movement’s political notion of two “parents” of the same-sex. It will allow two lesbians to both be called the “mother” of a child conceived artificially by donated ova or sperm.
The stipulation that both be called parents of the child applies even if the two women are not in a registered civil partnership. Both women’s names will appear on the child’s birth certificate. The proposed legislation will ban the appearance in such situations of any man’s name on a birth certificate, even the child’s biological father or “sperm donor”.
Liberal Democrat MP Evan Harris, known as Parliament’s most radical campaigner for abortion, euthanasia and the homosexual movement, called the change a “logical and just consequence of the civil partnership provisions overwhelmingly supported in both houses of Parliament.”
Norman Wells, of the Family Education Trust, however, warned that the government was going further down the path of a “dangerous social experiment.”
He told the Daily Telegraph that the bill posed “serious consequences for individual children and for society as a whole when we start tampering with the natural order and deny children something as fundamental as having a parent of each sex.”
“Men and women are not interchangeable and fathers are not an optional extra.”
As Britain’s pro-life community has already pointed out, the bill will also bring Britain one more step forward in what has been described as a “one-way ratchet effect” in ever-greater attacks on human life at the embryonic stage. The bill allows for the creation of “various kinds of interspecies embryos,” human/animal chimeras and human embryos with animal DNA transplanted into them.
Paul Tully, general secretary of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), said the change in language employed in the legislation does more than it may appear on the surface. He told LifeSiteNews.com that the bill weakens the “one principle” to which even embryo research advocates have heretofore adhered, that of donor consent.
Under the legislation, he said, ova or ovarian tissue can be removed from a minor child without her consent, and stored for possible future use to create embryos.
Tully said the basic problem is that the research community, dedicated to creating and using human embryos, will not “take a principled stand on anything. They will not give any absolute recognition to the rights of the embryo as persons.”
The bill, he said, makes a more subtle change in the existing law, with its new language it “shifts the whole focus” of the use of artificial reproductive technologies.
The existing legislation approaches artificial reproduction as a way of treating infertility. The new bill, Tully said, moves the country towards treating these processes as “extending one’s reproductive choices.”
The bill shifts the focus from medical treatment to one of manipulating the natural processes of reproduction to conform to a “lifestyle choice.”“It’s not saying explicitly that this is for lifestyle purposes, but in the change of language, that’s the implication,” Tully said.
Calling the bill an “unprecedented attack upon the dignity of human life,” Anthony Ozimic, SPUC political secretary, commented, that Britain is “seeking to lead the world in truly sinister experiments – the creation of human-animal hybrids and the genetic modification of human beings”.
“These developments,” he said, “and the financial motivation behind them, are ethically deplorable. We have had a very positive response to our campaign against the bill among the general public, and we are using that support to call upon members of both Houses of Parliament to vote on principle against the bill as a whole at the first opportunity.”
Read related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
UK Reproductive Tech Bill Allows Much More than Human/Animal Hybrids
New UK Prime Minister as Bad for Unborn and Disabled as Blair