Stiffer penalties for doctors selling fetal parts under new Dancer bill
Doctors who sell body parts of babies terminated before birth would face five to 10 years in prison, if a measure by shore Assemblyman Ron Dancer (R-12) becomes law.
The legislator is introducing the bill in reaction to videos depicting the sale of fetal parts by Planned Parenthood officials. A companion measure would establish criminal grounds for doctors who neglect to tell patients if a decision to abort would affect the nature, performance or timing of the procedure.
Dancer called the practice inhumane and disgusting. "Destroying a viable life is horrific enough, but to think that body parts can be sold to the highest bidder as if one were on a shopping trip is beyond belief," Dancer said in a prepared statement. "While I am a believer in the sanctity of life, even those who are pro-choice, find the profiteering of body parts despicable."
Sale of donated fetal tissue is already a federal and state violation. Dancer's bill would elevate it to a second-degree crime, which would include the possibility of a fine as high as $300,000 in addition to the sentence, on conviction.
His companion bill would discourage timing of abortions in order to harvest intact organs. Any doctor failing to inform the potential donee, prior to written consent, about potential changes in the procedure would face fourth-degree charges, punishable by up to 18 months in prison and/or fines up to $10,000.
"Sound ethical principles must include a physician detailing the potential risks in donating fetal tissue from an abortion, especially when a procedure is altered to retrieve certain intact and undamaged body parts," Dancer said. "Communicating the process involved and making her aware of the risks are a doctor's fundamental and ethical responsibility. It is crucial this discussion occur before an informed consent is signed and there is a full understanding of what it is involved."