Mr Howell voted in favour of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill at its second reading in February 2013, and then abstained by voting both for and against the bill at its third reading in May 2013.
In February 2015 John Howell voted in favour of allowing mitochondrial donation, which would allow women who carried mitochondrial diseases to give birth to children who would not inherit the disease. An October 2014 briefing report by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which had been investigating the issue for three years, stated that there was no evidence to show that mitochondrial donation was unsafe. However, some religious groups had said that such procedures should not be allowed. After clearing both Houses mitochondrial donation is now legal, regulated by the HFEA.
Nomination of David Tredinnick for Health Committee Chair
In June 2015 John Howell was one of 19 MPs to nominate David Tredinnick for the position of Chair of the Health Select Committee. Mr Tredinnick's advocacy of alternative medicine is well known and only four months earlier his view that astrology could have a role in reducing pressure on doctors had been widely reported (e.g. here).
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