Arizona Senate Passes Bill to Stop Planned Parenthood Selling Aborted Baby Parts

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Feb 25, 2016   |   2:28PM   |   Phoenix, AZ

Arizona state Senators passed a series of life-affirming measures Wednesday, including one to stop the trafficking of aborted babies’ body parts in the state.

The bill, prompted by undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood officials selling aborted babies’ body parts, passed the state Senate in a 18-11 vote, according to the Arizona Republic.

State Sen. Nancy Barto, R-Phoenix, lead sponsor of the bill, previously said the videos “shocked the soul.”

“They revealed a side to the abortion industry most Americans didn’t know about,” Barto said.

Her bill, Arizona Senate Bill 1474, would make it a crime to knowingly “sell, transfer, distribute, give away, accept, use or attempt to use any human fetus or embryo or any part, organ or fluid of the human fetus or embryo resulting from an abortion.” The bill includes exceptions for pathological studies to determine the cause of death and diagnostic tests to preserve the life of the mother or the unborn baby.

State Sen. Steve Smith, R-Maricopa, supported the bill Wednesday, saying the Center for Medical Progress videos made him more aware of the “disgusting” practices that are happening at abortion centers.

“It was reprehensible what they do,” Smith said. “It’s pretty clear that Planned Parenthood cares about one thing, and that’s basically making a profit at the expense of women and babies.”

Some Democrats opposed the bill, saying it was unnecessary because Planned Parenthood facilities in Arizona do not harvest fetal tissue for research.

However, Cathi Herrod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy, previously questioned why abortion supporters oppose the bill if the practice is not happening in the state, according to the AP.

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“We watched in horror after videotape after videotape showed Planned Parenthood executives, discussing the sale of baby body parts, livers, tissues…brain,” Herrod said. “Planned Parenthood claims that they do not engage in these practices within Arizona. That means they should not have any issue with this bill.”

On Wednesday, the state Senate also passed a second measure, Arizona Senate Bill 1485, to ban abortion groups from the state employee charitable giving program. The ban is a continuation of a move last year by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey to kick out Planned Parenthood from the program. In 2014, the abortion business’s Arizona affiliate received about $7,250 from state employees through the program, LifeNews reported.

State Sen. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, said people who want to donate to abortion groups like Planned Parenthood should do it privately, not through the state.

“I believe that abortion kills unborn human beings, and I don’t want one penny of my tax dollars which support the government payroll system to be implicated in the killing of unborn human beings,” Kavanagh said.

Both bills move to the Arizona House for consideration.

Pro-life leaders in several other states, including Indiana, Wisconsin and Colorado, also have introduced bills to ban the sale or harvesting of aborted babies’ body parts for research.

As LifeNews previously reported, the Planned Parenthood videos have sparked outrage across the country from grassroots activists and stay-at-home-moms to lawmakers and even presidential candidates. In the first undercover video, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, senior director of medical research for Planned Parenthood, admits that Planned Parenthood charges per-specimen for baby body parts, uses altered abortion procedures in order to get intact body parts, and is aware of their own liability for doing so and takes steps to cover it up.