Michigan House legislators voted Wednesday to strengthen state laws that prohibit the sales of aborted babies’ body parts, according to the Detroit News.
State Sen. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair, introduced the amendment in response to a series of undercover videos by the Center for Medical Progress showing Planned Parenthood conducting potentially illegal sales of aborted babies’ body parts.
Michigan law currently prohibits the sale of aborted babies’ body parts. The new legislation would strengthen the current laws with harsher penalties and specific prohibitions against “knowingly financially benefit[ing],” collecting a fee for or receiving compensation from any exchanges involving aborted baby parts. Penalties for breaking the law would include a prison sentence of up to five years, the report states.
The amendment legislation passed the state House with bi-partisan support, and now moves to the state Senate for consideration, according to the report.
State lawmakers across the country have considered similar legislation in the past year after news broke about the baby body parts trafficking. These include Louisiana, Tennessee, South Carolina, Iowa, Arizona, Wisconsin, North Carolina and others.
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The federal law that technically prohibits the sale of aborted babies’ body parts was written by a pro-abortion Congressman decades ago and essentially spells out a process by which sellers of aborted baby body parts can meet certain criteria that allows the sales to be legal. That’s why a Colorado congressman has introduced legislation to totally ban the sales of aborted baby body parts federally.
Investigations into aborted baby parts trafficking continue. Earlier this week, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley released findings from a U.S. Senate investigation and recommended that abortion clinics caught selling the body parts should face criminal charges.
“I don’t take lightly making a criminal referral. But, the seeming disregard for the law by these entities has been fueled by decades of utter failure by the Justice Department to enforce it,” Grassley said. “And, unless there is a renewed commitment by everyone involved against commercializing the trade in aborted fetal body parts for profit, then the problem is likely to continue.”
Grassley’s referral follows the completion of a Senate Judiciary Committee majority staff analysis of more than 20,000 pages of documents provided voluntarily by the organizations and companies involved, including Planned Parenthood.
Earlier this month, the House Select Panel on Infant Lives also released a list of nine criminal and regulatory referrals against abortion providers and/or fetal tissue procurement companies made as a result of their investigation into the illegal practice of selling aborted baby remains for profit. Planned Parenthood, biotech firms and universities are among the groups that could face criminal prosecution.