Mr. J. Enoch Powell
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science on what grounds he is advised that the provisions of the Unborn Children (Protection) Bill would prevent investigation of embryos prior to insertion to avoid the insertion of embryos which are carriers of genetic disorders or otherwise abnormal.
§ Mr. Brooke
As I stated in my answer on 3 April to the hon. Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Dalyell) at columns 616–17, the Unborn Children (Protection) Bill would prevent research on the development of safe thechniques for the investigation of embryos prior to insertion into the womb. It would clearly be unacceptable to insert an embryo which has been subjected to any procedures until the safety of such procedures had been tested and the risk of inducing abnormal development excluded. It is the Medical Research Council's view that further studies with human embryos are necessary to establish both the safety of the embryonic biopsy techniques and the efficiency of 359W the methods for the detection of abnormalities; and that the embryos used in such studies cannot be ones intended for implantation.