Today, legislation that would make the sale of fetal body parts for profit a Class B felony passed out of a Senate committee by a 12-1 vote. Sen. Bill Hightower (R-Mobile) is the proposal’s sponsor. Alabama law does not currently forbid the practice of selling baby body parts for profit.
Senator Hightower spoke on the need and importance of the bill saying, “The nation is shocked by videos depicting Planned Parenthood employees callously discussing the dismemberment of babies and the sale of baby body parts for profit. This is like a story out of Nazi Germany,” remarked Hightower. “The federal authorities may allow this type of thing, but Alabama won’t – and upon final passage, Alabama will have a law that reflects Alabama’s values.”
Currently, state law forbids the sale for profit of human body parts but not specifically the sale of body parts of babies who have been aborted. Senator Hightower’s legislation explicitly forbids the sale of fetal body parts. Rep. Jack Williams sponsored the House version of the bill, House Bill 38, which has over 50 cosponsors.
In an earlier interview with Alabama Today Williams said the bill addresses an issue more vital than the usual “pro-choice” vs. “pro-life” fault lines that often bifurcate the public debate on reproductive rights.
“I think folks on either side of the abortion debate were just shocked at the revelations that came out in the recent Planned Parenthood videos,” said Williams. “It was just troubling to me – I’m pro-life, but I don’t know that I’ve ever handled this kind of legislation… This speaks to who were are as a nation, and I felt Alabama ought to be one of the state working to stop this kind of activity.”
“The gruesome nature of the Planned Parenthood videos has already compelled some of the most liberal states in the nation to prohibit these horrific transactions or withdraw funding from any organization that conducts them,” said Katherine Robertson, vice president of the Alabama Policy Institute. “We applaud Sen. Hightower and Rep. Jack Williams for bringing this legislation and are confident it will gain the support of policymakers from both sides of the aisle.”