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

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill reaches Committee Stage

Printer-friendly version Monday 3rd December was the first of four days where the House of Lords will debate in more detail the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill.


HFE Bill – Committee stage

Monday 3rd December was the first of four days where the House of Lords will debate in more detail the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill. Committee days two to four are on Tuesday 4th, Monday 10th and Wednesday 12th December. This is the stage where possible amendments to the Bill will first be put forward and discussed. Committee stage will be followed by report stage in the New Year, and then third reading, before the Bill will be sent to the Commons in an amended format.

Please pray that many peers will be present at the committee stages, and that those who speak will put the arguments clearly and cogently on each of the three issues:

  1. Embryo research, cloning, hybrid embryos etc;

  2. Definition of the family, need for a father;

  3. Review of abortion law.


In addition to praying, please continue to write to peers, as well as to Gordon Brown, David Cameron and the Health Ministers (see link below) to raise your concerns about this Bill.

It is important that we continue to encourage peers to attend the debates and vote for amendments on these issues. The first day of the Committee stage was very poorly attended, and many peers are not really engaging with the issues in the Bill because it is easy to become confused by the scientific information coming from all quarters. But, although the science is difficult, the underlying principles for why we should be opposing these changes is not difficult to grasp. It is a matter of ethics, human dignity and family values. Other European countries recognise this and have outlawed practices such as creating hybrids – we can and should expect the members of the House of Lords to be able to do the same.

Peer seeks to amend abortion law on disabled foetuses

Baroness Masham of Ilton has tabled an amendment to the HFE Bill that would eliminate abortion on the grounds of disability. Currently the law states that a woman can abort an unborn baby up to the point of birth if that baby is disabled. This law has been the point of some controversy in the past, as it has been interpreted to allow late abortions of foetuses for such minor conditions as a cleft palate (Joanna Jepson case). Baroness Masham, a peer who is herself wheelchair bound, argues that the current law is discriminatory against those with disabilities.

Please consider writing to peers, or to your local media, supporting the Baroness’ amendment, which is likely to be debated on the fourth day of committee stage on the HFE Bill on Wednesday 12th December.

The creeping liberalisation of abortion practices

A number of stories in the media are increasingly exposing the liberalisation of abortion without any change in the law by Parliament. In the news this week we saw disturbing accounts of how pharmacies are expected by NHS primary care trusts to prescribe the morning after pill to girls as young as 12 (see link below). In another story we are told the Department of Health is allowing GPs to carry out abortions in their surgeries in two secret trial locations (see link below).

Clearly the threat of a liberalisation of abortion law is not simply in upcoming legislation, but also in the less well scrutinised decisions of Government departments and civil servants.

CMF Debate

Dr Andrew Fergusson from the Christian Medical Fellowship will be debating with Dr Evan Harris, MP on Thursday 6th December. The title of the debate is “Personal beliefs should never impact patient care in medical practice”.

The debate will take place from 7.30 – 9pm in the Harris Lecture Theatre, Hodgkin Building, Medical School, Guys Hospital, London (nearest tube: London Bridge)

Please attend if you are able. To download a flyer click on the link below: