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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Outrage at revelations by test tube baby expert call for moratorium

10 November 2002

Outrage at revelations by test-tube baby expert—call for moratorium London, 10 November 2002--The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children has expressed outrage at the revelations of Dr Sammy Lee, an embryologist who has worked for many IVF clinics, published in today's Sunday Telegraph. Dr Lee lists a catalogue of malpractice, abuse, mistrust and incompetence at IVF clinics and notes that the recent case of a white woman giving birth to black IVF babies was no surprise to him. He bemoans the HFEA (Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority) for brushing aside "any meaningful discussion of why mistakes occur in IVF clinics, and how frequently." He criticises the Authority for failing to produce rigorous and meaningful statistics. He points out that there are no checks on the data returned to the HFEA by clinics that it has licensed, and says that the resultant figures published by the HFEA are seriously flawed. Dr Lee alleges that couples are often pressurised to use donor gametes (sperm or eggs), even when this is not clinically necessary. He refers to "the biggest shock of my career" as the discovery that many women who become pregnant from the use of donor gametes abort their babies. Responding to his revelations, an SPUC spokesman said today: "Dr Lee has revealed a culture of malpractice and deceit - even coercion - in the IVF industry. He exposes the IVF industry as one in a crisis of competence, of corruption and of moral bankruptcy. "Furthermore, we would note the cost of the 'miracle' babies born has been the lives of many thousands more embryonic babies. These have been lost, destroyed or frozen in IVF laboratories. "This situation demands a moratorium on the creation of embryos in the laboratory. It is also clear that the HFEA must respond to Dr Lee's allegations - both against the HFEA itself and the clinics it licenses. We commend Dr Lee for his courage and honesty in speaking out, although we note that he still supports the principle of IVF, to which SPUC is opposed."

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