Texas state Senators passed a bill Wednesday that would prohibit abortion clinics from selling or donating aborted babies’ body parts.
Texas Senate Bill 8, or the Pre-Born Protection and Dignity Act, passed the Senate with strong support in a 24-6 vote, according to the Dallas News. The legislation would make it illegal to sell or donate aborted babies’ body parts, and also would prohibit partial-birth abortions. It moves to the state House for consideration.
After the vote, state Lt. Governor Dan Patrick praised the bill and its lead sponsor, state Sen. Charles Schwertner, KHOU News reports.
“Texans count on us to ensure that the sanctity and dignity of life is protected,” Patrick said in a statement. “In the wake of discovering the notorious Planned Parenthood videos last year, in which employees were caught callously discussing the procurement of aborted baby body parts, the Texas Senate is taking aggressive steps to criminalize these despicable acts.
“I congratulate Sen. Schwertner on the passage of SB 8 and thank him for working to protect the dignity and sanctity of life and putting an end to the sale of fetal tissue in Texas,” he continued.
Partial-birth abortions already are illegal at the federal level, but Schwertner said his bill would allow state authorities to better enforce the ban by aligning the state statute with the federal one.
Many state lawmakers have proposed bills regarding the handling of aborted babies’ body parts after undercover videos revealed evidence that Planned Parenthood and other abortion facilities may be illegally selling their body parts. The Center for Medical Progress videos prompted a number of states and the U.S. House to open investigations into the matter.
At the conclusion of its investigation, the U.S. House committee referred 15 different abortion-related entities for criminal investigation to state authorities; these included abortion facilities in Texas, Arkansas, Florida and New Mexico. The House panel found evidence that abortion clinics and human tissue procurement groups may have conducted illegal activities involving aborted babies’ body parts.
Last year, Texas government administrators adopted a new rule requiring that aborted babies’ body parts be cremated or buried. However, a judge blocked the rule.
During a Texas commission hearing in August, supporters said the rules are necessary because abortion facilities treat unborn babies’ bodies like garbage and sometimes dump them down public sewer drains, Fox 7 reported. Texas state Rep. Mark Keough mentioned a gruesome case in 2005 when a woman who worked near a Houston abortion facility saw tiny aborted babies’ limbs and other body parts in a parking lot when a sewer line broke.
Currently, abortion facilities can dispose of aborted babies’ bodies in landfills or give them to research groups. Though it is illegal, there is a possibility that abortion facilities also could be selling them for a profit.
In Ohio, the state attorney general’s investigation found that Planned Parenthood was “steam cooking” aborted babies’ bodies before dumping them in landfills. A state investigation in South Carolina also caught Planned Parenthood facilities illegally dumping aborted babies’ bodies in public landfills, and fined them for it.