Research on the human embryo at the National Assembly: silence on an ethical scandal


Friday 20 March 2013

As the Committee on Social Affairs approves the text on the sly, the dispute gains momentum. The Jérôme Lejeune Foundation denounces the followers’ libertarian ultra-liberalism concerning this new and fundamental societal reform which permits embryo research.

After infrequent hearings with experts, organised during the holidays, today the Committee on Social Affairs at the National Assembly studied the legislative draft proposing to lift the ban on human embryo research. With a tense atmosphere at the Committee, the text was adopted.

As the stumbling block for debates less than two years ago at the time that the law on bioethics was revised, embryo research has become almost disregarded in parliamentary stages since December and in terms of the Senate vote. The last round will take place on Thursday 28 March, when the text will be explored publicly at the National Assembly (the solemn vote will take place on 2 April).

Total disregard, for the time being. Due to the extent of the turmoil, valuable protest assessments carried out by experts are on the increase, supported by international scientific news. Scientists denounce the rearguard of human embryo research in terms of the spectacular breakthrough in iPS cells (Nobel Prize – Yamanaka). Legal experts underline the major paradigm shift which is emerging without discussion or public forum, which are nevertheless obligatory. Policies oppose the unravelling of the law on bioethics (2011), after the strategic error of getting France involved in outdated and useless research, which goes against bioethics and is being sent out to citizens. Together, they are denouncing the scandal about embryo deterioration, which is converted into a chemical agent, and delivered to laboratories in the pharmaceutical industry.

The Jérôme Lejeune Foundation has taken over from these assessments for several months now*, by questioning MPs and citizens about their ethical standpoint. The human embryo is a human being. This is a scientific fact, not an opinion or a belief, whatever the statements heard at the Committee this morning claiming that the human embryo is just a cluster of cells. “The end does not justify the means and killing a human to supposedly treat another is a curious method”, says Jean-Marie Le Méné, president of the Lejeune Foundation; “the people of our era are the first to want to get a hold of a human embryo at this stage of development”, he continues. Furthermore, this disruption needs to be inconspicuous. Until now, parents would abandon their plans to have children in the framework of free and informed consent, and now, they will no longer be informed about how their embryo will be used.  

Thanks to 45,000 signatures against the text,and 100,000 protest cards intended for MPs, created via the Vous trouvez ça normal ? (Do you find that right?) campaign, the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation is undeterred and calls out to French citizens to rise up against this fundamental bioethical reform before it’s too late by signing the petition and by sending an email to their local MP at

*All expert perspectives are available in the weekly issue of the “Vous trouvez ça normal ?” campaign newsletter online, on the website’s archive page:

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