British MPs seek free conscience on cloning and IVF bill

.- British cabinet members are demanding a “free vote” over a bill that would promote cloning and the creation of human-animal hybrid embryos, and would remove the requirement to consider the need for a father in offering IVF treatments, the Observer reports.

The IVF regulations will remove restrictions on single women and homosexual couples’ ability to undergo fertility treatments.  Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Archbishop of Westminster, has called that aspect of the bill 'profoundly wrong' because it 'radically undermines the place of the father in a child's life'.

The Human Fertilization and Embryology Bill is a government bill, which means that any government-allied Ministers of Parliament voting against the bill could be disciplined for voting against it, or even merely for abstaining.

Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly and Welsh Secretary Paul Murphy, both Catholics, are leading the calls to permit a “free vote,” which would remove the threat of disciplinary action against dissenting legislators.  At present, only amendments regarding abortion will be allowed a free vote.

Defense Secretary Des Browne, Northern Ireland Office minister Paul Goggins, and three whips, all Catholics, also have objections to the bill.

Kelly recently met with the Labor Party’s chief whip Geoff Hoon to discuss possible options.  In an unusual concession, Hoon said objecting legislators and ministers could absent themselves fro the vote.  'He told her that MPs who had difficulties with their conscience should just not be around when the voting took place - that is, be allowed to be absent,' said one MP who is close to Kelly, according to the Spectator. 

Critics have rejected that option and are advocating a free vote on the entire bill.

The bill will enter the House of Commons after Easter.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon

Liturgical Calendar

July 28, 2014

Monday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:31-35


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Jer 13: 1-11
Gospel:: Mt 13: 31-35

Saint of the Day

St. Victor I, Pope »


Homily of the Day

Mt 13:31-35


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: