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Controversial embryo bill receives second hearing in Lords

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 22 November 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:1069
  1. Lynn Eaton
  1. London

    The government's human embryology and fertilisation bill had its second reading in the House of Lords this week, amid concerns that it would enable lesbian couples to have fertility treatment more easily. Some groups have also objected to the fact that it allows the creation of “interspecies embryos” for research purposes.

    The bill drops the requirement that fertility specialists, when considering whether a woman is suitable for fertility treatment, have to take account of the need of the child for a father. This has not prevented lesbians from accessing in vitro fertilisation in the past, but its removal will deal with government concerns that the clause could amount to discrimination in the provision of goods and services.

    The bill also recognises same sex couples as legal parents, in keeping with changes in the law allowing civil partnerships.

    Introducing …

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