On June 18, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed SB 1040 into law, which is a bipartisan bill to counter Beijing's criminal practice of forced organ harvesting. The new law makes Texas the first U.S. state to combat the practice in a legal capacity.
The law will take effect on September 1 and will make it illegal for health insurance providers to fund organ transplants that originated in China or other countries known to participate in the practice. The bill passed unanimously through both chambers of the Texas legislature.
Beijing has used the practice of forcibly harvesting vital organs from living individuals for profit to fund what has become a booming industry. The organs frequently come from young, healthy individuals who are usually incarcerated in prison camps. Many of the victims have been followers of the spiritual discipline Falun Gong, which has tens of millions of followers and has been relentlessly persecuted by Chinese officials since 1999.
The primary sponsor of the bill, State Rep. Tom Oliverson, thanked Governor Abbott for "allowing Texans to be the first to take a strong stand against the immoral and detestable practice of forced organ donations in China."
"With this law we send a strong message to Beijing that all human life is precious and worthy of protection," he added.
Oliverson described in an interview visiting Falun Gong practitioners several years ago and being shown websites for Chinese hospitals that were advertising that live donors were ready as the hospitals hoped to attract organ transplant tourists.
"I was just horrified. Just absolutely, unbelievably horrified," Oliverson said. The state rep. said that he has advocated for
organ transplantation ethics in the U.S. to ensure that people are voluntarily donors but that he has "never seen a case where somebody who was conscious, awake, and able to sign a consent on their own but did not wish to be an organ donor was being forced be an organ donor."
"That just sounds like something out of a movie," he concluded.
Oliverson has also worked on SCR 3, a resolution that was also unanimously adopted in April 2021 that condemns China's "vile practice of forcibly removing human organs for transplant."
He also introduced TX HB3914 in March, which is a bill to ban the state's cancer research funder, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, from awarding grant money to applicants who may source organs from hospitals in China, ZeroHedge reported.
Given that most Americans rely on health insurance to be able to afford an organ transplant, Oliverson insists that putting an end to health insurers funding China-sourced organs is the key to ending non-consensual organ transplant tourism. According to him, the idea is to "basically choke off the ability" for someone to make money off of participating in forced organ harvesting not only in China but anywhere in the world.
"The best way to be successful in terms of shutting it off is to make it not economically successful for a country that doesn't view human beings as human beings, but obviously sees them as a source of revenue," he said.
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