A British bill that would allow researchers to take tissue from the mentally ill and Alheimer's patients to use in animal/human hybrid experiments may not be voted on today, as expected, as the bill's sections on abortion continue to cause controversy.
The bill, among other things, would liberlize abortion laws in the country -- leading activists on both sides of that debate to demonstrate outside Parliament today.
Procedural delays today, however, have led to speculation the broad-based fertility bill may be shelved for up to two years.
Baroness Ruth Deech, former chairwoman of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, said said the abortion reform should be treated under separate legislation.
"It would be tragic if it were to be hijacked by abortion provisions which really have nothing to do with the rest of the bill. What we are facing now is the possibility that there will be so much contention that the liberalizing amendments won't get through and the whole bill might fall."
Today's procedural motion means that amendments directly relating to the bill will be debated first, effectively removing any time to consider abortion changes before debate is cut off.