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More than two million embryos destroyed in the UK since 1990

A scientist at work during an IVF process (PA)

More than two million embryos have been destroyed in the United Kingdom in the past 25 years, according to the latest Government statistics.

Following a parliamentary question submitted by Lord Alton of Liverpool, the Department of Health revealed that “the number of embryos allowed to perish in the last 12 months for which figures are available (1 July 2013 – 30 June 2014) is 174,316.”

This brings the total number of embryos allowed to perish since the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 to a total of 2,227,972.

Representatives of pro-life charity, Right to Life, described the statistics as “heart-rending” and “shocking”.

Fiona Bruce, patron of the Right to Life charity, said: “From the very youngest to the very oldest, all of us share the same humanity and the innate dignity that comes with being human. The latest statistics on the numbers of embryonic human beings who are destroyed during the process of IVF is heart-rending, and should provoke us to work ever harder to safeguard the equal rights of the most vulnerable members of our society.”

Peter D Williams, chief executive of Right to Life, added: “Either the human right to life applies to all members of the human family, or it applies to none. The shocking number of embryos destroyed through IVF, both last year and since the 1990, is an indictment of the way that our society ignores this fundamental principle, and allows vulnerable human beings to be manipulated and exploited for the convenience and material benefit of others. We have a long way to go before our law and medical practice is truly re-humanised in its approach to the lives of unborn children – whatever their gestational age.”