Senate OKs anti-organ trafficking bill with 212 in favor

Bill now goes to Lower House

(ANSA) - Rome, March 4 - The Senate on Wednesday approved a government organ trafficking bill with 212 in favor, one against and no abstentions.
    The bill making it a crime to traffic organs from living donors now goes to the Lower House.
    It would punish organ trafficking with three-12 years in prison and 50-300,000 euros in fines, according to Democratic Party (PD) Senator Venera Padua, who sits on the health committee.
    "This is a very important bill that goes directly to the issue of human trafficking and the exploitation of women, men and children who are often reduced to slavery," she explained.
    Left Ecology Freedom (SEL) whip Loredana De Petris earlier charged the New Center Right (NCD) party, which is a junior governing coalition member, tried to undermine recently passed laws legalizing anonymous donor fertilization and stem cell therapy - both of which are opposed by the Catholic Church - by tacking an amendment onto the organ trafficking bill.
    "(Their amendment) would have made trading in stem cells punishable with up to six years in prison, and trading in cells and tissues from a living donor" punishable with 1-6 years in prison and a 25-250,000 euro fine, De Petris said.
    "It's shameful how they tried to insert anonymous donor fertilization into a bill on organ trafficking," she added.