State Senator Frank LaRose (R-Copley) today introduced legislation aimed at tightening restrictions on the sale of fetal tissue, increasing penalties for violations and reducing the overall demand for the products of abortion.

"By this point, most of us have seen or heard about the horrific videos that expose the practice of selling aborted fetal tissue for a profit," said LaRose. "At the heart of this legislation is a respect for the human dignity of the unborn and a sincere desire to ensure that no individual or organization can profit from selling the bodies of aborted babies. Colleagues on both sides of the aisle can agree that deriving financial benefit from the termination of lives is morally reprehensible."

The sale of fetal tissue from an abortion is already illegal in Ohio, but Senate Bill 203 also bans the exchange of money for the storage, preservation, transfer and any other services related to the product of human conception.

Violating these restrictions constitutes abortion trafficking, which is currently a misdemeanor of the first degree. Senate Bill 203 would increase the penalty associated with the offense to include a prison term of up to ten years and a fine equal to at least twice the amount of the profit received. These penalties are identical to those prescribed for similar offenses under federal law.

"Under current law, penalties for violating Ohio's prohibition against the sale of fetal tissue do not reflect the seriousness of this act," said LaRose. "This legislation will harmonize Ohio law with federal penalties for similar offenses."

The legislation also expands the current restriction on using aborted fetal tissue for experimentation to also include any usage for medical treatment.

Senate Bill 203 will soon be referred to a Senate committee for further consideration.

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