Bishops who backed a series of amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill were defeated in each case on Monday. Despite opposition from bishops and others, the House of Lords voted to delete the rule on the ‘need for a father’ for children conceived through IVF. This paves the way for the creation of IVF children for lesbian couples. Seven bishops and Archbishop John Sentamu also gave their support to an amendment that would restrict embryo selection for ‘saviour siblings’ only where a child’s condition was ‘serious and potentially life-threatening’ rather than simply ‘serious’. They then supported an amendment defining ‘serious’ as ‘life-threatening or impairing severely’ the child’s ‘quality of life’. In a related protest, the Bishop of Liverpool joined Roman Catholic and Free Church leaders in signing a letter condemning the Bill’s provisions for hybrid human and animal embryos for research.
Source: Church Times (25/1)