HC Deb 25 June 1996 vol 280 cc85-6W
Mr. Alton

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many frozen human embryos will be destroyed on 31 July. [33978]

Mr. Horam

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 requires that embryos created on or before 31 July 1991 should be allowed to perish unless, by virtue of regulations which came into force on 1 May 1996, consent has been given by the couple concerned to extend storage. Licensed clinics are taking active steps to contact couples. The number of embryos that will be allowed to perish is not known at present.

I am placing in the Library of the House a copy of a letter about these matters that I sent to my hon. Friend the Member for Congleton (Mrs. Winterton) on 14 May.