Concerns voiced over Nobel Prize for IVF scientist

Christian groups have expressed objections to the awarding of the  Nobel Prize for Medicine to Dr Robert Edwards who produced the first test-tube baby in 1978. The Nobel Prize committee said the 85 year-old doctor's work was "a milestone in the development of modern medicine".

Speaking in a personal capacity, Bishop Ignacio Carrasco de Paula from the  Vatican Pontifical Academy for Life told reporters: "I find the choice of Robert Edwards completely out of order. Without Edwards, there would not be a market on which millions of ovocytes are sold - and there would not be a large number of freezers filled with embryos in the world,"

"In the best of cases they are transferred into a uterus, but most probably they will end up abandoned or dead, which is a problem for which the new Nobel Prize winner is responsible."

Anthony Ozimic, from the Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child, said:  "IVF is possible because of one simple fact: human life begins at fertilisation/conception.  But IVF is an abuse of this knowledge. IVF puts human embryos at a vast disadvantage - they are subject to testing and discrimination, freezing and storage, disability and death.

"Countless human embryos have perished in the development and practice of IVF. Since the birth of  the first IVF child over thirty years ago, well over two million embryos have been discarded, or frozen, or selectively aborted, or miscarried or used in destructive experiments.

"While opposing the IVF process, we insist that IVF embryos and babies must be accorded all the rights and dignity that any human person deserves.

"IVF has made it possible to search out and destroy disabled embryonic children. Our society should not be applauding legal and scientific advancements in the targeting and killing of disabled human beings.

"IVF doesn't actually treat infertility problems, it merely bypasses them. IVF is in reality a large-scale experiment abusing and destroying early human life.

"Recent studies suggests that babies born through IVF are more likely to have genetic defects and congenital disabilities.

"Giving Professor Edwards a prize for promoting the abuse of human embryos by IVF is an affront to mankind, and especially to disabled people", he said'

"The Billings Ovulation Method and NaProTech (Natural Procreative Technology) are ethical, healthy and far more successful alternatives to IVF. Unlike IVF, in Billings and NaProTech no embryonic children are killed or exposed to harm in the laboratory, and couples' relationships are strengthened," concluded Mr Ozimic.

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