U.S. Legislators Call for Action Against China’s Organ Harvesting Crimes

On December 21, 2020 the U.S. issued additional visa restrictions targeting Chinese officials who have directly engaged in human rights abuses such as restricting freedom of religion and freedom of speech. “China’s authoritarian rulers impose draconian restrictions on the Chinese people’s freedoms of expression, religion or belief, association and the right to peaceful assembly,” said then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. “The United States has been clear that perpetrators of human rights abuses like these are not welcome in our country.” The Trump administration imposed these restrictions under the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.

Frederick County, Virginia unanimously adopted a resolution condemning forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience in China on January 27, 2021. Before the resolution was adopted, Shawnee District Supervisor David D. Stegmaier said, “I think it’s of use to all members of the Frederick County community to know what is involved in doing business of that kind with China.” Introduced by Supervisor Shawn L. Graber, the resolution is meant to ensure that county residents are “fully informed of the organ source in China before they make the decision to engage in organ tourism in China,” lest they “unwittingly become accomplices in state-sponsored forced organ harvesting.” Copies of the resolution will be passed to the county’s representative to the Virginia General Assembly and the Virginia delegation to the U.S. Congress.

On February 11, 2021 the Tennessee General Assembly passed House Joint Resolution 92 and referred it to the Senate Finance Ways & Means Committee. Representative Bryan Terry, MD introduced the resolution which raises awareness about the Chinese government’s unethical practice of forced harvesting of organs from prisoners. Tennessee’s WGNS News Radio reported that Rep. Terry hopes that the resolution will help end China’s brutal crimes and prevent unaware patients from his state who are in need of transplants from inadvertently becoming accomplices to forced organ harvesting by accepting illegally and unethically sourced organs.

Prince William County, Virginia District Supervisor Yesli Vega issued a proclamation warning county residents about the risks of traveling to China for organs so they do not unwittingly becoming accomplices to the Chinese government’s practice of harvesting organs from political prisoners. The proclamation was drafted after supervisory members from the County met with adherents of Falun Gong on February 15, 2021 to discuss the practice of Falun Gong and how it is being persecuted.

On March 3, 2021 in neighboring Loudoun County, Virginia, the County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution expressing support for the Falun Gong spiritual movement and condemning the Chinese Communist Party for killing its practitioners for their organs. Chairwoman Phyllis J. Randall said, “When you harm people anywhere, it harms all of us. Anywhere someone is harmed. humanity as a whole is harmed.”

On March 10, 2021 U.S. Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and Chris Coons (D-Delaware), along with Representatives Chris Smith (R-New Jersey), Tom Suozzi (D-New York), and Vicky Hartzler (R-Missouri) introduced bicameral, bipartisan legislation called the Stop Forced Organ Harvesting Act to “combat the unethical and criminal practice of harvesting organs often from minority groups and other vulnerable victims.” The bill is identified as S. 602 in the Senate and H.R. 1592 in the House of Representatives.

Rep. Smith said, “Our legislation would empower the U.S. State Department to identify and expose organ harvesters and traffickers across the world with the goal of punishing perpetrators through effective sanctions and travel restrictions.”

Several independent researchers contributed to this initiative by the U.S. Congress including the London based China Tribunal, the International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China headquartered in Australia, and the Washington, D.C. based Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.