Monday, 12 May 2008

Life begins at...?

Tomorrow - or, rather, later today (why am I still up?) - we have the Second Reading of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, with free votes the following week on some of the crucial issues. Having belatedly realised what the time is (3am!), I won't say too much about it now, but it's going to be an interesting week.

For the record, I'm with the scientists on the 'admixed embryos' issue; support the removal of the 'need for a father' provision re IVF treatment (replaced by a reference to parenting); and don't support the reduction of the abortion time limit from 24 to 20 weeks (and will probably say more on that before the week is out). The latter isn't actually in the Bill, but will be introduced by way of amendment. There's also likely to be an amendment removing the requirement for two doctors to give permission before a woman can have a termination, which I'll be backing if it comes to a vote.

It's at moments like this that it becomes apparent just how many Catholics there are within the Labour ranks; it's the Celtic thing I suppose. Most people assume I'm a lapsed Catholic, but I was actually brought up as a Baptist, or at least was packed off to Sunday school every week along with my sisters so my mother could get some peace and quiet. (I'm writing that because I know she'll be reading this - hi Mum!)

The dividing line on the abortion issue - and also on admixed or hybrid embryos - very much depends on whether you believe life starts at conception or at birth (or at least when life would be sustainable outside the womb). Not sure that's something that will be resolved by the political debate we'll be having over the next few weeks, but I suppose there must be some undecideds amongst us.


Sheila said...

No Kerry,
I just wanted to give you spiritual guidance and see how it worked for you have turned out an honest, trustworthy,caring, upstanding person who I am proud to call my daughter.

Kerry said...

I have no idea who this woman is.