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German parliament votes to permit tests on embryos for genetic defects

BERLIN — After an emotional debate, German lawmakers voted Thursday to allow a procedure that looks for genetic disorders in embryos before they are implanted in the womb.

Lawmakers voted 326-260 to permit the procedure known as preimplantation genetic diagnosis under strict conditions after a debate that crossed party lines. Eight lawmakers abstained.

The procedure is used after in vitro fertilization, when parents whose families have a history of genetic disorders want to avoid having a child with a lethal or severely debilitating birth defect.

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