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Defending life from the moment of conception

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SPUC calls MPs' report on reproduction abhorrent

24 March 2005

SPUC calls MPs' report on reproduction "abhorrent" Westminster, 24 March 2005 - The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has described a newly-published House of Commons committee report on human reproduction as abhorrent. Speaking about the Science and Technology Committee's "Human Reproductive Technologies and the Law", Anthony Ozimic, SPUC's political secretary, said: "The full horror and true nature of destructive embryo research has been exposed by this abhorrent report. Sex selection is only one of a number of its unethical recommendations. "Fatal discrimination and prejudice are at the heart of this report. Even if young embryos aren't discarded because of their gender, they can still be discarded because of a suspected developmental anomaly. All such diagnosis is discriminatory because it results in the destruction of human life for one reason or another. This sends a shocking message to disabled members of our supposedly caring society. "We warned the government years ago that allowing the creation of cloned human embryos would inevitably lead to increasing pressure to allow the birth of cloned babies. "All political parties must reject this report immediately." The main reasons for SPUC's opposition to sex selection are: Sex selection is a method of social control, which is a wrong motive for human parenting and for medicine. There is no moral "right to choose" the sex of one's child or any other characteristic. Sex selection treats children as if they are commodities or lifestyle accessories. Sex selection on medical grounds may in fact mean the killing of embryonic children with an unwanted sex-linked inherited condition. The killing of sick or disabled embryos is an ethically abhorrent eugenic practice which discriminates against those embryonic human beings, violates their fundamental human rights and sends a frightening message to disabled members of our supposedly caring society. Allowing peri-conceptual sex selection may lead to an increasing demand for the abortion of unborn children of the 'unwanted' gender. All forms of gender-selection--whether before or after fertilisation--take us further down the road to treating human life as a mere commodity to be bought, sold and thrown away at will. Children will increasingly be seen as lifestyle accessories. Gender-selection will probably lead to an imbalance between the sexes, as does abortion based on gender. Less democratic regimes will be tempted to promote discriminatory techniques such as gender-selection for economic and political reasons. Parental freedom and discretion could actually be eroded and undermined. Western society is obsessed with personal choice, yet some choices such as gender-selection carry social consequences for which we are ill-prepared.

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