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Defending life from the moment of conception

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IVF industry pushing Britain into more unethical practices, warns pro-life group SPUC

25 January 2016

In Vitro Fertilisation
SPUC has been opposed to IVF both in principle and in practice since its advent in the UK three decades ago.

London, 25 January 2016: The IVF industry is pushing Britain into yet more unethical practices, warns the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC)

SPUC delivered the warning in response to today's headlines such as "IVF hope for older women as fertility doctors apply to change ‘batteries’ in eggs" (Telegraph, 25 Jan) and "The next IVF revolution: Older women more likely to have babies with new technique set to trial in UK this year" (Independent, 25 Jan)

Paul Tully, SPUC's deputy chief executive, commented: "This proposes mitochondrial transfer to the egg/embryo, the same type of process that was recently sanctioned in Britain for trying to overcome the effects of malfunctioning mitochondria in some children.

Britain is acting unethically

"The permission for mitochondrial transfer is a permission for a type of germ-line genetic modification of the human embryo – something banned by internationally-agreed bioethics agreements. Britain is acting unethically and against agreed rules in this.

"The latest proposal indicates that allowing treatment for mitochondrial disease is another stage on the slippery slope. Once the technique is allowed for one purpose, it will be used for other reasons. Very soon the techniques will be used in ways which public, political and scientific opinion initially rejected.

"The fact that pro-IVF scientists are arguing about the viability of the technique – even the existence of the key cells involved – suggests that the driving force here is the need to boost academic careers, research budgets and exploit commercial markets.

"The future of the human race, and the fate of the embryos who would be destroyed to develop the new technique, are simply not priorities for the IVF industry", concluded Mr Tully.

SPUC has been opposed to IVF both in principle and in practice since its advent in the UK three decades ago.

For further comments or to request an interview with Paul Tully, please contact Anthony Ozimic, SPUC's Director of Communications, on:

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