News Release: Prohibiting Sale of Fetal Tissue Praised by Michigan Catholic Conference

May 12, 2004

LANSING—The Michigan Catholic Conference today applauded measures that would prohibit the sale or collection of fees for aborted fetuses. Attention has been brought to the fact that, while selling body parts of such fetuses is theoretically illegal, some have found loopholes within the law.

“Persuading women to have an abortion because of the alleged ‘good’ the fetal tissue would do is reprehensible,” said Kristen 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.”

Existing Michigan statute prohibits the sale, distribution or transfer of an embryo or fetus for uses prohibited by the state health code—yet certain loopholes within the law are being exposed which allow for the collection and selling of aborted body parts. House Bill 4652 would close such a loophole and allow for a felony conviction punishable by up to five years imprisonment.

“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 Hemker.

HB 4652, sponsored by Rep. Matt Milosch (R-Lambertville), passed the House of Representatives with a bipartisan, veto-proof 75-31 vote. The legislation now awaits referral to a Senate committee.

Michigan Catholic Conference is the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in this state.

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