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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Pro life lobbyists comment on tonight’s embryo bill debate

19 November 2007

Pro-life lobbyists comment on tonight’s embryo bill debate Westminster, 19th November 2007 - The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) expressed concern and sympathy for the welfare of Lord Brennan, the Catholic peer who collapsed with a suspected heart attack during this evening's House of Lords debate on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology or HFE Bill.

Lord Brennan had just spoken in the debate before he collapsed.

He had emphasised the need for the public to be fully informed and involved in ethical decisions on the fast-moving scientific issues at stake in the field of embryo research.

The debate was adjourned until Wednesday. Earlier in the debate, Peers had criticised a number of aspects of the controversial HFE Bill, including widening the scope for human embryo research and the creation of human-animal embryos.

Peers in favour of destructive embryo experimentation had claimed that there are potential treatments for intractable diseases that could be discovered by sacrificing human embryos to laboratory experiments.

Anthony Ozimic, SPUC political secretary, commented: "Peers on both sides of the debate commented on widespread public opposition to the use of human embryos and the creation of hybrid embryos expressed in the huge number of letters and emails they had received in the run-up to the debate. "Moreover, the futility of embryo research was pointed up by a number of Peers who referred to the recent decision by Professor Ian Wilmut, creator of 'Dolly the Sheep', to pursue an adult stem cell research route rather than using IVF embryos. "A number of Peers also expressed objections to the proposals to use the bill to amend the abortion law. These included pro- and anti-abortion Peers. It was clearly felt by most Peers that debating such different issues in the context of one bill was neither feasible nor helpful. Mr Ozimic concluded: "SPUC continues to urge Peers to reject the bill as a whole when it is debated again this Wednesday."

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