Catholic World News

House of Commons approves radical embryology bill

October 23, 2008

By a margin of nearly 3-to-1, the British House of Commons has approved the controversial Human Fertilisation and Embryology (HFE) bill, which will allow much broader legal experimentation with human embryos. The measure-- which was strongly backed by the Labour government and vigorously denounced by the Catholic hierarchy-- passed despite the defection of 16 Labour Party lawmakers including former cabinet member Ruth Kelly. Among the most heavily disputed provisions of the HFE bill are those allowing for the creation of 'hybrid' human/animal embryos and opening artificial-fertilization procedures to lesbian couples. The legislation came to a vote under procedural rules that did not allow for amendments broadening access to abortion: a possibility that had further worried pro-life activists. The bill now goes to the House of Lords, and could become law before the end of the year.


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