SPUC backs archbishop on cloning
20 October 2000
SPUC backs archbishop on cloning Westminster, 20 October 2000--Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) is writing to every parish priest in Britain and Northern Ireland in support of Archbishop Nichols of Birmingham's recent pastoral letter against cloning. John Smeaton, SPUC national director, is encouraging clergy to get parishioners to telephone their MPs on Monday-week (the 30th) and ask them to oppose a private member's bill which would allow research on cloned embryos. Mr Smeaton called Archbishop Nichols' letter: "an inspiration and a sign of great hope at a difficult moment in history." He added: "We welcome the lead which the church is taking at this crucial time. Before the next general election we will almost certainly see moves by the government to widen existing limits on embryo research to allow so-called therapeutic cloning. "Also, the public health minister has said that she is considering making the abortifacient morning-after pill available without prescription 'later in the year'. The pro-life movement needs all the help it can get and Archbishop Nichols has given us much encouragement and grounds for real hope." Mr Smeaton's letter to parish priests will include a summary of the main points in the archbishop's pastoral letter, as well as the prayer with which Archbishop Nichols closed. Clergy are being encouraged to copy and distribute the prayer for use by parishioners. Dr Evan Harris's bill on stem cell research is on the House of Commons agenda for Tuesday-week (the 31st). Details of the content of the bill have yet to be published. Parishioners wanting to speak to their MPs on Monday-week (the 30th) should telephone the House of Commons on (020) 7219 3000.