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SPUC condemns aneuploidy screening as 'fatal discrimination'

5 August 2003

SPUC condemns aneuploidy screening as 'fatal discrimination' Westminster, 5 August 2003--The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has responded critically to reports of the first baby born in Britain following aneuploidy screening. The technique seeks out and destroys any newly-conceived so-called "abnormal" embryonic children, while so-called "normal" embryos are allowed to live for use in fertility treatment. SPUC spokesman Anthony Ozimic commented: "Although we welcome the bringing of a new life into the world as well as successful treatments for infertility, the fatal discrimination intrinsic to this technique killed human beings who were regarded as 'genetically undesirable'. The embryonic brothers and sisters of baby Tom Ballantyne-Roberts were denied their right to live. Indeed, what happened to his unwanted embryonic siblings? Were they flushed down the sink? Frozen? Used for experiments? "We must have great sympathy for couples who suffer from infertility, but the process of aneuploidy screening violates the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which states that children 'need special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth'. Ethical alternatives to such destructive embryo research must be prioritised", concluded Mr Ozimic.

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