Christians Urge Action Against 'Destructive' Embryology Bill

Pro-life Christian groups are appealing to Christians to pray and take action to stop legislation that will liberalize the abortion law and give the green light to the creation of animal-human hybrid embryos.

The United Kingdom's House of Commons will vote on the Human Fertilization and Embryology (HFE) Bill on Oct. 22 after having passed a second reading in May by a 340 to 78 vote.

Pro-life groups are concerned over provisions in the bill that remove "the need for a father" for children born as a result of In Vitro Fertilization treatment, and that allow the creation of human-animal hybrid embryos for the purposes of research and "savior siblings" to help treat seriously ill brothers and sisters.

"This Bill is one of the most destructive pieces of legislation that we will see in our lifetime. It is anti-life, anti-family and anti-God," said Andrea Minichiello Williams, director of Christian Concern for our Nation.

"It will liberalize abortion law, create animal-human hybrids and create fatherless families unless we pray and act to stop it. Will you do so? Each person's contribution counts."

Debate has revolved around mainly three points in the bill, in addition to a bid to reduce the abortion time limit from 24 to 20 weeks.

The wording in the bill had changed from "the need for a father" to needing "supportive parenting," a phrase opponents say denigrates the role of fathers in a child's life.

Pro-life groups also argue that hybrid embryos are unethical. A hybrid embryo is created by transferring nuclei containing DNA from human cells to animal eggs that have had nearly all their genetic information removed. The resulting embryos are hybrids that are 99.9 percent human and 0.1 percent animal.

And regarding savior siblings, in which babies are born as a tissue match for a sick older brother or sister with a genetic condition, opponents are concerned children may be created as savior siblings alone, and not because they are a wanted child.

Christian Concern and other groups, including Christian Medical Fellowship, are urging Christians to take part in the EuroProLife Group's "1000 Crosses for Life" rally in Westminster on Oct. 18.

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, meanwhile, is asking people to write to MPs and Prime Minister Gordon Brown to express their opposition to the HFE Bill.

"We know that MPs are receiving many letters," said John Smeaton, Director of SPUC, "and we must reinforce this with phone calls too. Please do all you can. Please act now before it's too late to protect unborn children."