British House of Lords Allows Human-Animal Cloning, Passes Embryo Bill

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 16, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

British House of Lords Allows Human-Animal Cloning, Passes Embryo Bill Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 16,

London, England ( — The British House of Lords has approved a controversial bill that could pave the way for scientific research that greatly concerns the pro-life community and could open the door for expanding abortions. The chamber also turned back an amendment to stop the human-animal cloning.

The House of Lords supported the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill and defeated 268-96 an amendment to it to stop scientists from cloning human embryos with a little bit of animal DNA.

Scientists want to create the clones to conduct experiments on diseases and how to alleviate them but pro-life groups say they should not be creating human life for the purpose of destroying it.

The bill allows them to make the cloned embryos and experiment on them for 14 days before killing them.

Lord Alton, a leading pro-life advocate, proposed the amendment and, with its failure, said he hoped to at least make it more difficult for scientists to get the licenses to clone the embryos.

"I have always believed that life begins at conception, and after that I don’t believe we should destroy life," he said.

Lord Tebbit, the former Conservative Party chairman, agreed that the bill and the human-animal cloning caused problems.

"Because it is possible to do something doesn’t mean it should be done, because it might bring some great benefit to some people doesn’t mean it should be done," he said, according to the Independent newspaper.

"If we accept arguments of that kind we are effectively saying that the end justifies the means," he added.

As the vote took place, hundreds of pro-life advocates protested outside the legislative chamber.