Tuesday, 20 May 2008

'Father figure' amendment defeated

. An amendment to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill requiring those who want IVF treatment to have to provide a 'father figure' has been defeated in the first of tonight's contentious votes. The government won the vote quite comfortably by 292 votes to 217; a majority of 75.

The view that children need a nuclear family to provide them with a stable upbringing and that this is the only way is one of the oldest prejudices in the book. Currently IVF clinics are instructed to consider the 'welfare' of a potential child where as now they will be need to be evidence of 'supportive parenting' - a far superior and less discriminatory formulation. So far the government has been yet to be defeated on this bill and the last prospect of that is the vote later tonight on lowering the 24-week upper limit on abortions.


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