British House of Commons OKs Cloning Bill, No Abortion in Northern Ireland
by Steven Ertelt
October 22, 2008
London, England (LifeNews.com) — The Britain House of Commons approved the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill that pro-life groups have been opposing because it is pro-cloning. However, because of the limited debate on the measure, there is some reason to celebrate.
John Smeaton, the national director of SPUC, says he’s disappointed the HFE bill, which would allow scientists engage in grisly human cloning projects involving the combination of human and animal parts, received approval form the chamber.
"Today is a tragic date in British history, as Parliament has passed a law extending the lethal abuse of the most vulnerable members of our society. Future generations will look back on this macabre bill and wonder how a supposedly civilized nation could have so devalued human life," he said and vowed to raise the issues at the next general election.
MPs voted by 355 to 129 in favor of the HFE bill at third reading (final main vote). The bill enshrines and extends the creation and abuse of human embryos outside the womb.
As LifeNews.com reported Tuesday, the limits on debate prevented several pro-abortion amendments to the bill, including amendments to allows nurses to do abortions or remove the two doctor requirement.
The main amendment, however, would have allowed extension of the 1967 Abortion Act to Northern Ireland, forcing the legalization of abortions there.
Northern Ireland’s leading pro-life group Precious Life claimed victory after the amendment to do so was not proposed.
The spokesperson for the pro-life group, Bernadette Smyth, said she was "absolutely delighted, and that it was Precious Life’s "pro-life tidal wave from Northern Ireland" that forced the government to effectively scrap the proposal.
"I commend our politicians, our church leaders, and our people, who stood up against Westminster and demanded the protection of Northern Ireland’s unborn children," she told LifeNews.com.
Smeaton agreed with Smyth’s assessment.
"The threat of imposing abortion legislation on Northern Ireland met with concerted and powerful resistance. The politicians and people of Northern Ireland showed that a pro-life community cannot be bullied into submission by the ethically compromised Westminster establishment," he said.
"Despite the embryo bill’s passage, the pro-life movement remains motivated to continue developing a peaceful and powerful resistance movement to the culture of death."
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