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Embryology bill-do not give up action and prayer

So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you42417631earlyembryo2splcred have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.
Hebrews 10:35-36
Now more than at any time in the history of this Bill the Christian Community needs not to give up but to show Parliamentarians how deeply we care about this Bill
On Monday 12th May the House of Commons voted in favour of the principle of the Human 3017517227Fertilisation and Embryology Bill by 340 to 78 votes. On Monday 19th and Tuesday 20th May all MPs will be given the opportunity to debate the key issues in the Bill and a free vote will be allowed at this stage. At this time we must persist in prayer and in contacting our MPs on the issues of:
  • Animal-human hybrids—which should be banned as both unethical and unnecessary
  • Fatherless families—children need both a father and a mother
  • Saviour siblings—creating children as commodities
  • Abortion—no liberalisation.
The importance of contacting your MP with your views cannot be over estimated.
The records of how MPs voted can be viewed by the following links:
Vote for the Bill at Second Reading: 340 in favour, 78 against:
The vote for the restricted timetable to hear the Bill was also carried in favour of the Government. This will mean that only 3 hours of parliamentary time is given to each of the key issues listed above, including the amendments of both sides on the issue of abortion. In total, including Report Stage, there will be a total of less than 3 days for this controversial Bill to be both debated and voted on:
265 in favour, 149 against:
Index to different parts of debate:
BBC Parliament 'The Record' summary of the debate in the chamber:
There were, however, encouraging signs of God at work:
The All Party Parliamentary Pro-Life Group press statement quotes Ann Widdecombe’s encouraging words: “Clearly there is all to play for, with the large number of MPs abstaining indicating that many have still to make up their minds. We ensured the pro-life amendments—on the upper time limit for the gestation period for abortions—went down first, and if usual procedures are followed, they should be debated first. It was also encouraging how many Labour MPs spoke against the Bill—whereas once it would have been particularly difficult to get, for example, women Labour MPs to do so.” 
The group also reports that there was clarity in the laying of the amendments, despite the physical scrum to get amendments amendments on abortion were laid in the following order: 12 weeks, 14 weeks, 16 weeks, 18 weeks, 20 weeks. 
A letter to the Telegraph from over 50 scientists highlights the loophole in the Bill, which together with the planned repeal of the Cloning Act 2001, would allow cloned babies to be born. The letter calls for the ban in the 2001 Act to be kept . (scroll down to ‘Embryo Bill Dangers’).
The Daily Mail today reports the growing unease amongst rebel Labour MPs at not being allowed free vote either at Second Reading or at Third Reading and the double standards that seem to be creeping in:
Please pray for the MPs who have laid amendments on abortion and also for Iain Duncan Smith, who was able to lay our amendment on fatherhood; Ed534408625bb03e91068mward Leigh and David Burrowes who tabled amendments prohibiting animal-human hybrids and saviour siblings respectively, and Claire Curtis Thomas, who tabled amendments on informed consent for women contemplating abortion (which could be the most influential in the long-term future of abortion in this country) and banning abortion up to birth for disabled babies.
Whilst most of the news coverage was supportive of the Bill and tended to feature the pro-embryo research rally, the following clips were more balanced and Sky News screened their interview with Peter Saunders of the Christian Medical Fellowship:
Sky News 5.30 pm report:
BBC News 24, 4.30 pm report:
Join the National Lobby of Parliament, 14th May 2008, 12.30 pm onwards.

This is a vital opportunity to tell your MP how strongly you feel about the introduction of the Bill. Please arrange to meet your MP in Parliament anytime from 12.30 pm onwards. Passion for Life will supply briefings to help inform your discussion. (NB Even if your MP cannot meet that day, it is vital that you still come to London to leave cards/letters and to show your support).

Refreshments, literature and an opportunity to meet pro-life MPs will all be at the Emmanuel Centre, Marsham Street (5 minutes’ walk from Parliament) from 12.30 pm until the evening.

Please don’t miss this opportunity to have your say on this vital issue. Now is the time to arrange transport, book appointments with MPs and encourage friends and colleagues to join you in travelling to London.

For further information call (020) 3176 0032, or
Join us for a rally outside Parliament on the day that the abortion amendments are to be voted on. Invite members of your church, Christian groups, family and friends. We will gather at 5.30 pm on Tuesday 20th May in Old Palace Yard, opposite St Stephen’s Entrance to the House of Lords, Westminster. 
There will be a demonstration from the pro-abortion supporters of the current upper time limit, so it would be good to have as many people present as possible.
Please do not forget to pray for MPs the day before, on Monday 19th May, when the other prohibitions will be the subject of voting.
Alive and Kicking has sent all MPs a letter, letting them know that any votes on abortion will be monitored by Alive and Kicking and published for the public to access. This information will have an impact on public voting at the next general election—especially for those MPs with marginal seats.
You can check your MP’s majority on the Alive and Kicking MPs’ database on their website. Simply click on the MPs’ database, enter your postcode, or select your MP—their majority is listed under ‘Details of MP’. The number of their majority may well be lower than the number of Christians in your constituency. Getting in contact with other churches in your area and lobbying your MP together is a very effective way of putting pressure on your MP.
Please also continue to send your petitions to Alive and Kicking; these will be presented to 10 Downing Street in the coming weeks.
On Tuesday, 6th May, Nadine Dorries MP launched the official parliamentary campaign to reduce the upper limit for abortion. Nadine’s official website for her campaign is:
Nadine highlights some of the 20 reasons for the limit to be reduced to 20 weeks:
  • Public, parliamentary and medical opinion is changing on late abortion. 63 per cent of MPs, two thirds of GPs, nearly two thirds of the public and more than three-quarters of women support a reduction in the 24-week upper age limit.
  • High profile cases of babies surviving well below 24 weeks like Manchester’s Millie McDonagh, born at 22 weeks, and the world’s most premature baby, Amillia Taylor, who was born a week younger, both in October 2006.
A video on our CCFONtv website shows the launch event, outside Parliament on 6th May:
The aim of the 20 weeks campaign is to reduce the upper time limit on abortion from 24 weeks to 20 weeks. We are supporting all the campaigns aimed at reduction in the upper time limits for abortion. Amendments have also been laid to reduce the limit to 18, 16, 14 and 12 weeks. We need to ask MPs to support every amendment that will reduce the upper time limits.
Register your support for Nadine’s campaign:
Send an e-postcard to your MP:
Order postcards for your friends, neighbours and church to send to their MPs:
By courtesy of Andrea Minichiello Williams, Public Policy Director, Lawyers' Christian Fellowship/Christian Concern for our Nation