I recently wrote to my MP, Colin Challen, asking him to seek ammendments to the HFE Bill which would favour the dignity of the person. He replied saying:
Actually, I wonder how prepared most of our MPs are for the kinds of decision-making that goes on now in Parliament. What kind of education did they have to form their understanding of what comprises the basic platform of human existence: human nature, ethics, society, culture, history and law. Anyway, I replied to him with the following letter:On abortion, should any bill come to the House I will support the status quo. It is my view that the existing law provides sufficient protection for all concerned and maintains the principle that ultimately it is a woman's right to choose whether to have an abortion of not. ... On the issue relating to human tissues, and indeed inter-species embryos, I support research into the former, but am somewhat nervous about the latter. ... I do not consider an embryo in any sense can be described as a human being. I am concerned about inter-species tissue development, since I personally would prefer that experimentation on animals for human benefit were phased out as we develop better methods of addressing our own health concerns. I will not support inter-species proposals.
Dear Mr Challen,
Thank you for your letter regarding the HFE Bill and for the indications which you have made to me. I am glad that you don’t want to extend the legal provision for Abortion, but I have to remind you to that it is not possible to say that the Law “provides sufficient protection for all concerned”, for Abortion, as you know, involves the killing of the pre-born child.
Later in your letter you explain that you “do not consider an embryo in any sense can be described as a human being”. This is extremely dishonest of you, since we know from science that a human life begins at fertilisation. Discussion over vocabulary and terminology such as “person” and “human being” is made at a philosophical level, whereas science has already clarified the status of the human embryo. And it is questions of science that are being put before Parliament at this time.
The reason for this Bill is because the UK wants to lead the global scientific community into the unknown. Whereas we should be refocusing our attention on adult stem cell research; not to do so will be a grave injustice to people with spinal cord injuries and other illnesses who could benefit from these technologies.
As for the “right to choose” which you speak about: freedom is not a political category but flows from the right to life. To place freedom before life actually goes against the fabric of political life and will tend to destroy it.
Sadly, I have to say, on the basis of your views, that in an Election I could not vote for you to represent me or any other human beings. Nor, on the same basis, would I recommend that anyone vote for you.