Pro-life groups have expressed sadness at the European Court of Human Rights decision yesterday, to reject an appeal by British woman, Natalie Evans, against UK court rulings forbidding the implantation of embryos created by IVF using the sperm of her former partner, Howard Johnston. Six embryos were created before Ms Evans' ovaries were removed due to ovarian cancer. The couple subsequently separated and Mr Johnston withdrew his consent for Ms Evans to use their embryos. "This couple made a joint decision to become parents, a decision that should be irrevocable once the lives of the embryos have begun regardless of whether they are frozen or not," said Julia Millington of the ProLife Alliance. "Relationships between parents often change but that should not mean that the human lives that have been created together should be ended. 'These assisted reproduction cases are fraught with difficulties. In this case the court could have vetoed the father's right to withdraw his consent. Should one parent be allowed to demand the destruction of their offspring? Or should both parents decide? Or should nobody in fact be given the right to demand that the life of another human being is destroyed? "We extend our sympathy to Natalie Evans who must be devastated by the court's decision to deny her embryos the right to life and to deny her the opportunity to bear her children. This deeply distressing situation could have been avoided if the option of egg freezing had been offered as an alternative to creating embryos. "UK legislation in this area is fundamentally flawed. We urge the government to halt the destruction of human life and to address the many ethical problems arising from the creation and freezing of human embryos.' Josephine Quintavalle of the pro-life group Comment on Reproductive Ethics, said: "It's an inevitable judgement, but a very sad one." She said Mr Johnston had "become a father" when the embryos were created, and should have compassion for Ms Evans. LIFE spokesman Matthew O'Gorman said: "We sympathise enormously with Natalie Evans. Her case has served to highlight the injustice of our laws regarding artificial reproduction. If we permit the manufacture of human beings in laboratories, we are going to witness many more tragic and similar cases. "Natalie Evans is one of thousands of other infertile mothers who acknowledge that an embryo is not mere material but a genetically unique and precious human being. If we are determined to ensure that cases like this do not recur then our Government needs to acknowledge that tiny children are not products we own but individuals we should respect."
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