Louisiana lawmakers are one step away from approving legislation that would make it a crime — punishable by up to 50 years in prison — to accept any payment to harvest, sell or transport the organs of aborted fetuses. The legislation is a direct response to last year’s uproar over a series of covert videos that made the rounds on conservative and anti­abortion websites and claimed Planned Parenthood was illegally profiting off of selling body parts of aborted fetuses. Planned Parenthood has denied the claims and said the videos depicted discussions of reimbursements for legal, not­for­profit collections of fetal tissue for medical research. Multiple state investigations have so far found no evidence of wrongdoing — including at Louisiana’s abortion clinics, which are not operated by Planned Parenthood. But state Sen. Ryan Gatti, R­Bossier City, said he thinks Senate Bill 33 will clear up a “gray area” in the law and make it so that no money exchanges hands for the tissues and organs of intentionally aborted fetuses — even in the research arrangements that Planned Parenthood claimed it used.

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