By Hilary White

  LONDON, May 22, 2007 ( – British pro-life organization, the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), has called the Labour government’s new embryo research bill “unethical” and will likely oppose it vigorously.

  Anthony Ozimic, confirmed to that the legislation codifies into primary legislation what had until now only been allowed piecemeal by the regulatory agency, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA). Over the years since its establishment in 1991, the HFEA has become notorious for permitting experimentation on living human embryos regardless of the objections of traditional ethicists.

  Ozimic predicted that it would be a year before the legislation passes into law and it must first go through an examination in health committees. Little hope exists for it to be substantially altered or quashed, however, since the Labour party holds a majority in the House of Commons and most of the opposition Tory MP’s have little objection in principle for the use of embryos in research.

  Since the passage of the 1990 Reproductive Technologies Act, the British lead has been taken as a model in legislation around the world and will likely continue to do so with the new legislation. The government’s own explanatory notes hints this international influence was part of the motivation for the new bill. “The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act has, over the past 16 years, been a model that many countries across the world have looked towards in determining their own approaches to assisted reproduction and embryo research.”

  While news agencies focus on the bill’s legalizing the creation of human/animal hybrid clones, the bill proposes sweeping changes to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990. It will enshrine in primary legislation greater facilitation of embryo research, the creation of designer babies and wider use of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis for eugenic selection of embryos, the creation of “saviour siblings” for tissue matching, and sex-selection on “medical grounds”.

  The bill moves into the realm of social re-engineering as it re-defines the meaning in law of parenthood, formally removing reference to the “need of a child for a father,” in artificial procreation and extending the rights of parenthood to same-sex partners. Ozimic says the bill undermines the meaning of family, “mother” and “father, “As if these were merely terms denoting changeable social and legal constructs rather than unchangeable natural realities with social and legal responsibilities.”

  See related coverage:
  Embryo Research Oversight Agencies Ruled by Utilitarian Eugenic “Ethics”

  English Scientists Ask Permission to Create Human/Cow Clones


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