Wednesday, 24 September 2008

HFE Bill update

In our society, the vulnerable are being sacrificed for the sake of the strong.

~ Dr. Peter Saunders, General Secretary of the Christian Medical Fellowship, and Director of the Care Not Killing Alliance.

Anything could happen in the HFE Bill scenario ... The most important thing to do now is pray.

~ Countess Josephine Quintavalle, co-founder of Comment on Reproductive Ethics (CORE)

This [HFE] Bill needs to be totally redrafted within an ethical framework.

~ Dr Louise Brown, Public Policy Consultant for Christian Concern for Our Nation (CCFON)

The name of the [HFE] Bill does not reflect the fact that it is about family, not embryology.

~ Rebecca Bensted, MA Law (Cam), advisor to the Family Law Review now undertaken by the Centre for Social Justice and committee member of the Lawyers Christian Fellowship

The House reconvenes on October 6th. It is likely the Third Reading and Report Stage of the HFE Bill will be scheduled for debate soon after - any time from October 13th onwards. This is now a crucial time to influence your MP.

It is overly cynical and naive to think that MPs are unconcerned about losing/gaining constituents now. The Crewe, Nantwich and Glasgow East By-Election defeats were devastating for Labour. The forthcoming Glenrothes by-election in Scotland, expected late October/early November, will be crucial to Gordon Brown's credibility. Combined with a possible leadership contest with David Miliband and/or James Purnell, MPs cannot afford to further alienate public opinion.

23 amendments have been laid for the Third Reading/Report Stage of the HFE Bill to date. Some are pro-life and pro-family; many are not. More amendments could be laid at the last minute, as late as on the day of the reading. It is unlikely all will be 'moved' for debate and voting - there are too many amendments and not enough time. It is up to the Speaker of the House, Michael Martin, whether they are moved. Therefore, it is important to focus on the most contentious issues of the Bill and contact your MP now.

What You Can Do:

[Photography by Catherine]

1 comment:

Mark said...

Thanks for the information.

I wonder whether the forthcoming Third Reading had anything to do with the timing of Ruth Kelly's resignation, bearing in mind that it had been made clear to her that she was expected to vote with the government this time round.