Legislation to make it a Felony to sell Fetal Tissue

| August 26, 2015

Georgia Government

ATLANTA — A Sandy Springs state representative wants to make it a felony for anyone who buys and sells fetal tissue in Georgia.

According to WSB, Republican State Rep. Wendell Willard says the current law has a loophole that could possibly allow it.

Willard told WSB in a published interview that it was an undercover video that inspired him to write a bill making sure fetal tissue can’t be bought or sold in Georgia.

An anti-abortion group released the videos showing high-level Planned Parenthood executives explaining how it provides fetal tissues for medical research.

“You can still donate it, it’s certainly open for donation with the consent of the mother for medical research, but there can be no exchange monetarily,” Willard said in the interview.

Willard says women facing this crisis must be confident they are able to receive counseling, as required by law, from someone who is not motivated by profit.

Although Georgia law requires fetal remains to be buried, interred or cremated, Willard says there’s also a loophole.

“There’s a law about the disposal of it, but there’s also the opening about it being used for medical research. If that’s the case we need to be clear there can’t be any compensation,” he said.

Planned Parenthood Southeast President and CEO Staci Fox responded in the report, “It’s our interpretation of Georgia code that fetal tissue donation is disallowed in our facilities due to the requirements for disposal. We follow the law as demonstrated by recent inspections.”

If the bill becomes law, anyone who violates it could get up to five years in prison. Willard plans to introduce the bill when lawmakers return in January.

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