The Stop Forced Organ Harvesting Act Passes in US House with Bipartisan Support
On March 27, 2023, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1154, or the Stop Forced Organ Harvesting Act, in a nearly unanimous vote of 413-2.
The bill targeting forced organ harvesting of Falun Gong and other prisoners of conscience grants the State Department authority to sanction perpetrators involved and requires government reporting on organ harvesting in China and other countries annually. In particular, this report must feature a list of perpetrators who facilitated organ harvesting and trafficking of persons for organ harvesting, which will direct the president to impose visa- and property-blocking sanctions on perpetrators.
Punishments may also include up to a $1 million fine and 20 years in prison.
“This is an atrocity, this is a crime against humanity, and its a war crime, because this is a war on innocent people in China, and Xi Jinping is directly responsible, but those who willingly engage in this will be held responsible,” said Rep. Chris Smith, the principal co-sponsor on the House bill.
The bill’s Senate counterpart, S. 761, is now under review by the Committee on Foreign Affairs after it was introduced on March 9, 2023. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark) lead a group of 15 co-sponsors in introducing the bill.
If passed by the Senate and President Biden, the bill would mark the first non-symbolic legislation in the United States countering forced organ harvesting. In 2022, both the United Kingdom and Canada passed legislations combatting organ harvesting, joining Israel, Taiwan, Italy, and Spain among the countries with bills to combat organ tourism.
16 Years of Evidence
The House’s passage of the bill this month indicates a growing acknowledgment of the exhaustive body of evidence that indicate Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners of conscience have been killed to sustain China’s organ transplant industry.
After a non-partisan examination of the evidence, eye-witnesses, and victims, the Independent Tribunal into Forced Organ Harvesting from Prisoners of Conscience in China unanimously concluded in 2019:
“Forced organ harvesting has been committed for years throughout China on a significant scale and that Falun Gong practitioners have been one – and probably the main – source of organ supply…. The Tribunal has had no evidence that the significant infrastructure associated with China’s transplantation industry has been dismantled and absent a satisfactory explanation as to the source of readily available organs concludes that forced organ harvesting continues ’till today.”