Michigan Legislation Would Ban Selling Human Embryos for Profit
by Paul Nowak
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
May 15, 2004
Lansing, MI (LifeNews.com) — Legislation to close a loophole that allows for individuals or organizations to profit from the transfer of human embryos or fetal parts has passed the state House Wednesday after a 75-31 vote.
While most legislation promoting embryonic stem cell research prohibits the sale of fetal tissue or human embryos, it does allow for compensation for the storage, creation, and other services provided in the transfer or use of the human life.
HB 4652, sponsored by Rep. Matt Milosch (R-Milan) addresses the loophole by explicitly stating that one cannot "sell, transfer, distribute, or … collect any fee for the obtaining, processing, transferring, or distributing of an embryo, fetus, fetal tissue, or neonate."
"This bill is needed to end the abhorrent business of buying and selling tissue and body parts from aborted children," Milosch said. "This is not a matter of pro-life or pro-choice. This is a matter of decency and respect for humanity."
Sue Wagner, executive director of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of Michigan, said the bill is not necessary because she claims there are no cases of such monetary transfers being made.
The Michigan Catholic Conference applauded the measure, warning that the loophole could and does allow abortion businesses to find other ways to profit from their practice.
"This deplorable practice has been reported at the national level and has become so lucrative that a price-list actually exists for certain body parts of aborted fetuses," said Kristen Hemker of the Michigan Catholic Conference.
"Persuading women to have an abortion because of the alleged ‘good’ the fetal tissue would do is reprehensible," added Hemker. "Those who supported this legislation deserve commendation for their efforts to prohibit an otherwise gruesome and inhumane practice. This issue, which goes well beyond abortion party lines, will outlaw clandestine peddling of aborted fetuses while protecting the dignity of human life."
Milosch said he does not know of any such monetary transfers being made in Michigan, but New Jersey and California’s laws supporting embryonic stem cell research have provisions explicitly allowing for compensation in transferring human tissues, embryos, or unborn children’s body parts.
Other states, such as Louisiana, are considering legislation that would also allow the practice.