A bishop has urged Parliament not to introduce a law allowing three-parent babies when it votes to amend the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act next week.
Bishop John Sherrington, of the bishops’ conference department for Christian Responsibility and Citizenship, was speaking ahead of a vote on Tuesday on proposed changes to the law.
He said many people were concerned about the implications of passing regulations that would allow IVF clinics to replace an egg’s defective mitochondrial DNA with healthy DNA from a female donor, which would result in babies having DNA from three people.
“No other country has allowed this procedure and the international scientific community is not convinced that the procedure is safe and effective,” said Bishop Sherrington.
“It seems extraordinary that a licence should be sought for a radical new technique affecting future generations without first conducting a clinical trial. There are also serious ethical objections to this procedure which involves the destruction of human embryos as part of the process.”
He added: “The human embryo is a new human life, and it should be respected and protected from the moment of conception. This is a very serious step which Parliament should not rush into taking.”