Wisconsin lawmakers and pro-life leaders have joined together to urge Congress to vote on and adopt a set of bills that would ban the sale of aborted fetal tissue and tighten regulations on fetal remains restrictions.
Introduced by Sen. Terry Moulton and Rep. Joel Kleefisch, the Fetal Remains Respect Act (SB 423) and the Unborn Child Disposition and Anatomical Gift Act (SB 424) would ban the sale of fetal tissue and require hospitals to give parents of stillborn or miscarried babies the option to donate the child’s remains to research, according to the Madison Host.
The lawmakers maintain they finally have enough votes to pass the House and likely the Senate, and are loudly encouraging a timely vote. The bill was introduced in March, but failed to gain enough support.
“Those of us up here believe that when a child is aborted, the last thing that needs to be done to the dignity of that human life is to be shipped off, sliced up and put into test tubes and Petri dishes,” Kleefisch said. “When it comes to the integrity of an aborted fetus, there really is no compromise.”
Cures For Tomorrow, however, thinks the set of bills would harm its research endeavors and strongly opposes further state regulation on fetal tissue research. “The bill would reach into labs and end ongoing, pioneering research on heart disease, cancer, infectious disease, and neurological and developmental disorders,” a Cures for Tomorrow representative said in a statement after the legislation was introduced.
“We don’t oppose research at all,” said Wisconsin Family Action’s Julaine Appling. “What we want is research done using ethical materials done in an ethical way.”
“It’s promoting the ethical source of fetal tissue,” Pro-Life Wisconsin’s legislative director Matt Sande said in agreement. “The pro-life community does not oppose medical research. We do not oppose fetal tissue research.”
Both bills would impose civil forfeitures on facilities that violate the law, but would not impose criminal charges on any people perpetrating the measures.
The bills aim to stop practices like those described by former Planned Parenthood medical technician Holly O’Donnell. “We were asked to procure certain tissues, like brain liver, thymus, pancreas, heart, lungs and pretty much anything on the fetus,” O’Donnell said in a video describing the process. “It’s basically trafficking of fetal tissues.” (RELATED: Fetal Harvester Describes Work In Planned Parenthood Clinics).
“I remember grabbing the leg, and I said ‘this is a leg,'” O’Donnell said. “And the moment I picked it up, I could just feel like death and pain — like I’ve never felt that before — like shoot up through my body. And I started to, I blacked out basically.” (RELATED: Planned Parenthood Doctor Discusses Harvesting Of Aborted Baby Parts)
The Senate has indicated it will likely vote on the pair of bills in November, and sponsors and supporters of the bills are hopeful they will meet success.
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