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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Artificial sperm creation unethical and spurious says pro life group SPUC

28 October 2009

Artificial sperm creation unethical and spurious says pro-life group SPUC London, 28 October 2009 - A claimed breakthrough towards the creation of artificial sperm has been dismissed as unethical and spurious by leading pro-life group the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC).

According to results published in Nature magazine online today, researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine have turned embryonic stem cells, taken from surplus IVF embryos, into human germ cells, which are the precursors of sperm and ova.

Anthony Ozimic of SPUC commented: "This research is unethical, because human embryos - innocent, equal members of the human family - were killed to extract the embryonic stem cells used in the research. Even if the research hadn't involved embryo-killing, the creation of artificial gametes would enable even more human embryos to be created outside the human body, to be killed and abused. As with IVF, artificial insemination and the use of donor gametes, the use of artificial gametes in reproduction would distort and damage relations between family members. "Just like cloning, the success rate for this research is very low; and just like cloning, this research is likely to result in a high rate of defective embryos and birth defects. The research provides yet another motivation for exploring the scientific dead-end which is embryonic stem cell research. "The researchers are destroying life in a scientifically dubious quest to manufacture new lives. It is ironic that the institute which provided the funding for the research is named after Eunice Kennedy Shriver, as she was a vocal supporter of the pro-life movement. There are no instances of any major medical advance achieved by abandoning basic ethical principles such as safeguarding the right to life", concluded Mr Ozimic.

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