A bill that would close a gap in a law that makes it illegal to sell human organs from a planned abortion passed out of the judiciary committee without a single no vote.
Senate Bill 33, authored by District 36 Sen. Ryan Gatti, will head to the Senate Floor Thursday. The bill would make it a felony to buy, sell or transport fetal organs from a planned abortion.
“During my campaign last year, between the videos from Planned Parenthood and review, I promised the first bill I filed would be to make it illegal to buy, sell or transport organs from the body of a child that was a victim of a planned abortion,” he said. “There are a lot of companies that do research on fetal organs and that needs to stop.”
He explained that there is a gap in the law that does not account for this type of activity. Under Revised Statute 14:101, it is illegal to sell human organs, but it is legal to donate organs, or a person can even donate their entire body to science.
“There are different laws that deal with the harvesting of human organs and selling human organs,” he said. “This is a gray area, because when a baby is aborted, its body is supposed to be disposed of. The fear we have, is that in other states, some cottage industries have been created where the doctor that performed the abortion would sell baby parts to research.”
Last year, a firestorm of backlash was created when national news stations released videos of Planned Parenthood representatives reportedly engaging in financial transactions for fetal organs from babies that had been aborted.
“That’s what brought this bill on is the visceral disgust for that happening in our country today,” he said. “This bill is not about access to abortion, it’s not about defunding anything. We’re making it a criminal act.”
During the judiciary committee Tuesday, a woman who only identified herself as Brandi, says she supports the bill because fetal organs are being harvested in Louisiana.
Very briefly, she told her story. Brandi is a survivor of a saline abortion, or a chemical abortion, where a doctor injects saline or another chemical into the amniotic sac. The chemical induces labor, thereby expelling the fetus. Brandi was born at just 21 weeks old.
“Money should not be made on the backs of babies who have been aborted,” she said.
Gatti went further to explain in an example that if a mother has a child who is stillborn or who passes away, the parents of that baby have the option to donate their child’s organs.
If passed, a person convicted would be sentenced to no less than 10 years, no more than 50 years, at hard labor and may be fined up to $50,000 fine for each conviction.
If the bill passes off the Senate Floor, it will then go to the House judiciary committee for consideration, to the House floor and then to Gov. John Bel Edwards to sign into law.