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Defending life from the moment of conception

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SPUC applauds embryo vote

10 April 2003

SPUC applauds embryo vote Westminster, 10 April 2003--British pro-lifers are delighted by the vote in the European parliament today to ban destructive research on human embryos. Meeting in Strasbourg, MEPs voted in favour of a proposed directive aimed at banning all human cloning, both for reproductive and so-called therapeutic purposes, and restrict any research which involves the destruction of surplus IVF embryos. Paul Tully, SPUC's general secretary, said: "The UK's national laws on embryo research and so-called therapeutic cloning are some of the most permissive in the world. We applaud MEPs for their stand in support of the dignity of the human embryo today, which is in marked contrast to the morally bankrupt position of our own government. "The directive will have to be voted on again by the parliament and also backed by national governments in order to become law, but the message sent out by MEPs today is a clear one: scientific research must conform to ethical standards and fundamental moral principles. "This is the third time in as many years that MEPs have signalled their rejection of cloning for experimental purposes, and again today they have acted to isolate Tony Blair's government, whose support for destructive research on cloned embryos is unique in Europe and makes Britain a pariah state on the issue. "Labour's environment spokesman in the European parliament, David Bowe, reportedly attacked MEPs for voting to protect early human embryos, saying that there was no moral consensus on the issue, but it is clearly Britain that is out on a limb on this issue. "The suggestion that research into Alzheimers and other diseases would be stopped by this report was a cheap scare-mongering tactic. In reality, adult stem cell technology not only constitutes an ethical alternative to the use of stem cells derived from embryos, but it has also consistently demonstrated greater therapeutic potential and promise. "MEPs have today stood up for fundamental human dignity. Medical research should, and can, proceed by ethical means. The UK government is increasingly isolated on this matter and should be ashamed."

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