|Paul Tully, SPUC general secretary|
SPUC is calling on MPs to reject the so-called "three-parent" embryo regulations designed to allow the cloning of embryos. The regulations would permit human germ-line manipulation for the first time.
The Society is appealing to MPs to oppose the regulations being debated in the House of Commons today which would allow cloned human embryos to be created and implanted in a woman.
Commenting on the background to today's debate, Paul Tully (pictured, above), General Secretary of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, said:
"The 1990 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act was not intended to permit human cloning, and so the alteration of germ-line genetic material was forbidden.
"However, the proponents of the 1990 Act held out promises of cures and medical advances for children with inherited diseases if they were allowed to use some embryos as guinea-pigs. These benefits failed to materialise.
"In 2001 Parliament was asked to amend the embryology law to allow limited genetic manipulation and the wider use of embryos as guinea-pigs. On that occasion MPs were again misled with false claims about how regenerative medicine could not advance without cannibalising embryos for their embryonic stem cells (ESCs). As we in SPUC predicted at the time, this technique also failed, because embryo stem cells were carcinogenic. Ethical techniques using stem-cells from adults have proved successful.
"In 2008, wider amendments to the 1990 Act were put forward to pave the way for human cloning, and mitochondrial disease was for the first time the centre of concerns.
"The creation of cloning entails destroying some embryos in an attempt to create others. It discriminates against those with undesired genetic traits.
"It sets a precedent for wider cloning of human beings, not in a sinister dictatorship or science fiction world, but here in the UK. We are the pioneers of abuses of unborn children like legalised abortion, IVF and genetic screening, and we are in danger of losing all feeling for the victims of such medicalised exploitation.
"MPs have been consistently misled in the past about the prospects of success and the future intentions of those who want to use the tiniest humans - human embryos - for experiments. They should reject today's proposals," concluded Mr Tully.
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