Monday 24 March 2008

Let’s not support charities who refuse charity to the unborn

The open letter to Members of Parliament from the Association of Medical Research Charities on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill is par for the course.

They say: “We of course respect and acknowledge the sensitive feelings that surround this issue. However, public understanding of the importance of the use of early stage embryos and ensuing stem cell research remains robust; there is a real acknowledgement of its potential for those who are ill. Recent surveys by MORI and HFEA in 2003 and 2007 respectively, showed that the vast majority of the British public - 70% and 79% - support the use of human embryos for medical research to find treatments for serious diseases and for fertility research.”

In other words, however concerned they are for members of the human family who qualify to benefit from their charitable aims, the AMRC’s concern is refused to the smallest, most vulnerable members of the human family of whom the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child says: "The child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth." (Declaration on the Rights of the Child,1959). This is the most widely ratified human rights treaty in the world.

Why not check the AMRC’s list of charities and see if there are any there that you, or that people you know, support?

With the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill ready to sweep away any last vestige of respect for the dignity and right to life of the human embryo, isn’t it time to draw a line in the sand and to say to charities who lack all charity for the youngest human beings, human embryos, that we will not only not support them, we will spread the word and urge others not to support them too?

So I suggest that concerned readers of this post, write to your chosen charities from the AMRC’s list, challenge them on the points in the AMRC’s open letter and if they won’t budge, make it clear that you won’t support them any longer and that you will urge others to do the same. Please let me know what responses you receive. You can find helpful information for your letters here.

For background information on the Association of Medical Research Charities, check here in SPUC’s Charities Bulletin.