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Embyros not ‘human life,’ Korean court says

WASHINGTON (BP)–A South Korean court has ruled frozen human embryos left over from in vitro fertilization are not “human life forms.”

Under the ruling by South Korea’s Constitutional Court, such embryos may be used for research or destroyed, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.

Pro-life advocates were among a group that challenged a South Korean law that allows research on embryos not used in fertility treatments. The law permits clinics to destroy embryos that have been in storage for five years.

“The ruling means that human embryos that are in their early stage and are not implanted into a mother’s womb cannot be seen as human life forms,” court spokesman Noh Hui-Beom told AFP.

Bioethics specialist Wesley Smith decried the Korean court’s decision, released May 27, along with the “science” behind it.

“Unbelievable,” Smith wrote on his weblog May 28. “This cuts at the heart of the integrity of science. All scientists and boosters of science should scream in protest against such junk biology — even if they support the research. But they won’t. The sector has become so politicized that protecting the overarching integrity of science doesn’t matter when they support the policy in question.”
Compiled by Baptist Press Washington bureau chief Tom Strode.

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