.- The British public has been misled in regard to the Human Fertilization and Embryology Bill, according to many Catholic Ministers of Parliament. The bill passed this week in the UK allowing admixed embryos, âsavior siblings,â and the role of a father during fertility treatment.
The vote on Monday, which supporters of the bill won by 336 votes to 176, included six Catholic Ministers of Parliament (MPs) voting against Edward Leighâs campaign to avoid using animal-human hybrids in embryonic research.
Ex-Tory minister Edward Leigh, who led the fight against the creation of hybrid âadmixedâ embryos, said they were âethically wrong and almost certainly medically useless.â
He said there was âno evidence yet to substantiateâ claims the work could help treat diseases like Parkinsonâs and Alzheimerâs.
Catholic MPs were also upset because for the first two readings, they MPs were allowed to vote according to their consciences, but for the third reading, the ministers were pressed to vote with the government whip.
Senior Catholic MP Joe Benton has described the governmentâs move to allow a free vote in parliament only during the first and second readings on Monday and Tuesday as âhypocrisy.â
Mr. Benton, Labor MP for the town, Bootle, and secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Pro-Life Group told The Universe: âI cannot express the depth of my disappointment that these are not recognized as what they are, namely moral, ethical issues of conscience.â
Mr. Benton added, âIt is hypocritical. There were so-called free votes. There was a free vote on Monday and Tuesday at the committee stages but come the third reading, and we were expected to support the government.â
âMy views are well known at Westminster. They certainly will not be looking to me for support,â he said.
âIt is absolutely illogical and absurd and an insult to the intelligence not to allow a free vote in all stages of the Bill.â
Mr. Benton was joined in opposing the bill by Catholic cabinet ministers Ruth Kelly, Des Browne and Paul Murphy. Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Tory leader David Cameron both voted to legalize the creation of human animal embryos.
Outside Westminster opposition was equally strong. Cardinal Keith Patrick OâBrien of Edinburgh described the Bill as an attempt to create âFrankensteinian monsters.â
Helen Watt, director at the Linacre Centre for medical ethics said the Billâs progress was âall too predictable.â âGiven the constant stream of misinformation: science and ethics have both been severely distorted by the Billâs supporters,â she said.
âWe get the Parliament we deserve, and should all give a top priority at the next election to these issues, looking less to party affiliation and more to the voting records of individual MPs,â Watt stated.
Story courtesy of The Universe in partnership with CNA.