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News – Hybrids and abortion

June 2008

Hybrids and abortion


On 19-20 May (and just before this ET issue went to press) the UK hit a further shameful moral low. MPs overwhelmingly voted in favour of the Government’s Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, paving the way for scientists to create hybrid human-animal embryos.

     An attempt to defeat the bill led by Edward Leigh (Conservative) was defeated by 336 votes to 176. Mr Leigh told the House: ‘No other country is going down this route … in embryology we would almost be like a rogue state’.

     MPs also voted: against an amendment to ban the creation of saviour siblings, by 342 to 163 votes; to scrap laws forcing clinics to consider the need for a ‘father and mother’ before allowing women to seek IVF treatment; and by a free vote of 304 to 233 against attempts to cut the upper limit for abortions from 24 to 22 weeks.