German parliament OKs embryo tests

GERMAN lawmakers have voted to permit a procedure under which tests for genetic disorders are performed on embryos before they are implanted in the womb.

Lawmakers voted today 326-260, with eight abstentions, to permit the procedure known as preimplantation genetic diagnosis under strict conditions.

The procedure is used after in vitro fertilization when parents want to avoid having a child with a lethal or severely debilitating birth defect.

While it is permitted in other countries, its legality has been a gray area in Germany so far.

Parliament took up the issue after a federal court last year ruled that a doctor who had performed the procedure hadn’t committed an offense.

A large minority of lawmakers had favored a total ban on the practice.

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