Saturday, 8 March 2008

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to allow free votes on the embryology and fathers components of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill when considered by the House of Commons.

http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/embryovote/
There is a tradition when dealing with matters of conscience that MPs are not whipped. This is particularly true when it comes to human embryos. When the 1990 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill was considered by Parliament the (then) government allowed free votes on all matters up until the final vote.

The joint committee on the draft Human Tissues and Embryos bill recommended that this approach be adopted for questions over embryology and the role of fathers, but the Brown government has said that free votes will only be allowed on abortion.

This decision suggests that there is no room for conscience and conscientious objection in our politics. If the government is genuinely concerned about voter apathy and alienation it should demonstrate that British politics caters for conscience and conscientious objection through free votes.
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