MPs vote on embryos Bill: abortion and fatherhood

MPs are preparing to vote on abortion and the importance of fatherhood, after animal-human embryos and ‘saviour siblings’ were approved last night in the House of Commons.

On Monday, MPs voted by 336 to 176 against an amendment to ban animal-human embryos, tabled by Edward Leigh, Conservative MP for Gainsborough.

Mr Leigh warned the House: “Make no mistake-what we are doing this afternoon is unique. No other country has gone down this avenue yet. When there is obviously no scientific consensus, no public consensus and no overwhelming proof that any good will come of it, do we really want to take that step?”

MPs also voted by 342 to 163 against a ban on allowing parents of sick children to deliberately select a genetically compatible embryo, so that tissues from the resulting sibling can be used to treat their older brother or sister.

An attempt to remove the requirement for doctors to consider a child’s need for a father when providing IVF treatment will be subject to a vote this evening (Tuesday, 20 May).

Various amendments to the law on abortion will also be voted on this evening. Attempts are being made to lower the upper time limit for abortion. There is also a proposal to remove the requirement for two doctors’ approval before abortion can go ahead, making early abortion far easier to access.

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