Thursday, October 23, 2008

HFEA: bill passes, but pro-abortion ammendments blocked

Comment: good news that abortion will not be extended to Northern Ireland by this bill, but very bad news that hybrid embryos will be created in the UK.

From SPUC: The British government's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill is now close to becoming law after the House of Commons approved it this evening by 355 votes to 129. SPUC called the result of the bill's third reading a tragedy. John Smeaton, national director, described the law as "extending the lethal abuse of the most vulnerable members of ... society." Future generations would regard the bill as devaluing human life. SPUC would raise the issues at the next general election. Mr Smeaton paid tribute to those who had opposed the bill, including Cardinal Keith O'Brien, Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, Rt Rev Patrick O'Donoghue, Catholic Bishop of Lancaster, and other religious leaders. Pro-life groups had cooperated in the campaign, while scientific, medical and ethical experts had also made valuable contributions. [SPUC, 22 October] 

The government succeeded in scheduling discussion of amendments so that
there was not enough time to discuss abortion-related issues, including
the extension of British abortion law to Northern Ireland. Mr Jeffrey
Donaldson MP MLA said that issue should be decided upon by the province's
legislative assembly. [BBC, 22 October] Mrs Betty Gibson, chairwoman of
SPUC Northern Ireland, said: "The leaders of the four major parties in
Northern Ireland wrote to every MP opposing the extension of the Act and
many members of the Assembly made it clear that they would not implement
the law if it was imposed. In the face of such opposition the prime
minister has realised that, if pro-abortion MPs outside Northern Ireland
ignored the Assembly, it would have created a constitutional dilemma which
he would have had to deal with." [SPUC, 22 October]

MPs and others wrote to The Times newspaper to express their concern that
the extension of British abortion law to Northern Ireland might not be
debated. Ms Diane Abbott and others complained that current law
discriminates against poorer women. [Times, 22 October] People from
Northern Ireland yesterday delivered a petition, opposing the extension of
British abortion law, at 10 Downing Street, the prime minister's official
home in London. The petition was coordinated by Ms Bernadette Smyth who
organised a rally on the matter in Belfast on Saturday. [BBC, 22 October]

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Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen