By Hilary White
LONDON, May 16, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In a six hour debate in the House of Commons on the Labour government’s proposed Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill at least one MP was ready to note that the country is suffering from “wooly liberal thinking.” However, Conservative barbs were offered the other way too.
David Cameron’s Shadow Secretary of State for Health, said it would be “foolhardy” to block embryonic stem cell research. This view was supported by John Bercow, Conservative MP for Buckingham, who said that “abstract principles” should not stand in the way of doing whatever science has made possible.
MPs should not “discard the wisdom of the ages” said Gary Streeter, the Conservative MP for South West Devon, “the wisdom that places humans as important moral objects, distinct from other animals”.
“Why is it that some people who are so socially liberal are inclusive of everything apart from those who hold sincere religious beliefs? That is not true inclusiveness,” he added.
But the most eloquent and comprehensive defense of the principles behind the pro-life position came from Iris Robinson the Democratic Unionist Party MP for Strangford in Northern Ireland, who told the House, “I make no apology for speaking as a born-again Christian. I represent the voice of those who look to a higher authority—one to whom we will all one day answer for the decisions that we make in the House.”
In a lengthy speech, Mrs. Robinson said that the entire debate had come at the question of the use and manipulation of embryos from a utilitarian anti-human viewpoint. “It attacks the very fabric of personhood and we must resist it vigorously… All life is of immense worth and we must treat it with the utmost respect. That is why my party will not support the Bill in its present state.”
She agreed with what others had said earlier, that to date, human embryonic stem cell research, while it has “absorbed a huge amount of taxpayers’ money” has delivered no therapies, “whereas adult stem cell research, which involves no ethical hazards, has delivered around 80 therapies for patients, and some 350 clinical trials are currently under way”.
“Too often the House and this country have suffered from woolly liberal thinking,” she said. “Unless we stand firm on certain matters, the United Kingdom will become utterly morally bankrupt.
The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children is urging the public to contact their MPs to urge them to defeat the bill as a whole but also to vote against its individual anti-life provisions when it is brought back to the House of Commons next Monday and Tuesday.
Visit SPUC’s page on the HFE Bill:
To find your MP:
Read the complete speech from Iris Robinson:
Read related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
UK Efforts to Lower Abortion Age Limit will Backfire with More Abortions than Ever