Skip to content

Archive site notice

You are viewing an archived copy of Christian Concern's website. Some features are disabled and pages may not display properly.

To view our current site, please visit

3000 human embryos destroyed every week

Printer-friendly version

Official data has revealed that more than 3,000 human embryos developed for IVF are destroyed in the UK every week, prompting criticism that unborn children are being increasingly treated as “disposable products".

The data from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority shows that 1.8 million human embryos have been discarded since 1991, and that for every embryo implanted into a woman, two remaining human embryos are destroyed .

Scientific research

The figures also show that nearly 900,000 human embryos are currently stored for possible use in the future and that more than 6,000 are being kept for scientific research.

The information was uncovered by crossbench peer Lord Alton, who said: “To be created simply to be destroyed and never to breathe the air or feel the sun on your back is a terrible diminishment of what it means to be human”.


Andrea Williams, CEO of Christian Concern, who campaigned against the 2008 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act has called for new legislation to end the “incredible waste” of human life revealed by the new data.

“The vast number of discarded embryos shows that the unborn child is treated as another disposable product which can be thrown away," she said.



Related stories: 

IVF treatment in UK results in loss of nearly 3 million embryos

Devout Christians encourage adoption of thousands of spare embryos

Hundreds of thousands of human embryos discarded