by Steven Ertelt
December 6, 2007
London, England (LifeNews.com) — Members of the British Labor Party are requesting that Prime Minister Gordon Brown give them a free vote on the upcoming Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill. They don’t want to be held to the government’s position on its legislation, which promotes in-vitro fertilization and could be used to promote abortion.
The measure removes the requirement that fertility clinics be sure that a father is involved in the care for any child he creates.
It also opens the door to allowing scientists to make human-animal hybrids or chimera for research and eventually destroy the creations.
Meanwhile, some pro-abortion MPs have promised to attach pro-abortion language to the bill that could allow nurses to do abortions, remove the requirement that two doctors certify an abortion or allow them to be done in a non-hospital setting.
Labour MP Joe Benton, who is the secretary of a multi-partisan group of pro-life lawmakers, doesn’t want to be forced to vote for any of those provisions and he told The Universe newspaper, "I am appealing to like-minded people to write to the three party leaders, urging them to allow a free vote on the bill."
“I certainly think there should be [a free vote]. There is definitely material there for objections of conscience," he added.
Labour MP Geraldine Smith, a member of the pro-life caucus in the parliament, agreed.
“These are matters of conscience and not party political issues," Smith said.
Some pro-life lawmakers hope to use the pending legislation as a means to reduce the number of late-term abortions. They want to lower the current 24 week time limit on doing abortions to 20 weeks into pregnancy.
They say modern technology such as 3-D and 4-D ultrasounds shows the humanity of the unborn child and that doctors are now able to save the lives of prematurely born babies better than ever before.
One leading pro-life group has opposed that call to lower the limit because it worries it will open the door to more abortions.