Commons' approval of embryo bill is tragic
22 October 2008
Commons' approval of embryo bill is tragic London, 22 October 2008 - The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has described as tragic this evening's vote by the House of Commons to pass the government's embryo bill.
MPs voted by 355 to 129 in favour of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology bill at third reading (final main vote).
The bill enshrines and extends the creation and abuse of human embryos outside the womb. Despite the bill's passage, SPUC paid tribute to all those who have opposed the bill.
John Smeaton, SPUC national director, said: "Today is a tragic date in British history, as Parliament has passed a law extending the lethal abuse of the most vulnerable members of our society. Future generations will look back on this macabre bill and wonder how a supposedly civilised nation could have so devalued human life. SPUC intends to raise these fundamental issues at the general election. "Our only consolation is that thousands of people across the country have joined a concerted campaign in solidarity with unborn children. Prominent national church leaders, such as Cardinal Keith O'Brien and Bishop Patrick O'Donoghue, showed that strong, clear, courageous stands can put the sanctity of human life at the forefront of public debate. Scores of doctors, lawyers and academics have defended the weakest of the weak. Many pro-life groups, representing the range of activity within the pro-life movement have come together to work against the bill. Choose Life, CARE and Christian Concern for Our Nation led strong initiatives from the Evangelical and Anglican Christians. The Catholic Bishop's Conference of England and Wales gave strong encouragement to Catholic layfolk to speak out on the issue. Others spoke out from the Muslim tradition, the Jewish faith and from multi-faith and interdenominational groups. Equally important, particularly on the issues of embryology, human-animal hybrids and stem cell research have been the contribution of experts scientific and medical bodies and bioethicists. "The threat of imposing abortion legislation on Northern Ireland met with concerted and powerful resistance. The politicians and people of Northern Ireland showed that a pro-life community cannot be bullied into submission by the ethically compromised Westminster establishment. "Individual pro-life campaigners and supporters showed that they can work together to deliver politically effective campaigns at a national, regional and local level. "Despite the embryo bill's passage, the pro-life movement remains motivated to continue developing a peaceful and powerful resistance movement to the culture of death."