Every year, thousands of individuals from around the world who are desperately ill fly to China, where they could get an organ transplant surgery in as short as two weeks.
In doing so, they may be “unwittingly becoming involved in murder in the form of forced organ harvesting,” said the resolution that aims to warn Texans against such risks.
Known as TX SCR3, the resolution also urges Congress and the U.S. president to adopt measures prosecuting those who are responsible for the abuse, banning them from entering America, as well as barring U.S. medical and pharmaceutical companies from collaborating with any complicit Chinese counterparts.
It has unanimously passed through both chambers of the state legislature.
“It’s a significant message on behalf of 29 million Texans, that we condemn in the highest terms the conduct of the Chinese government and their human trafficking,” said Texas State Rep. Matt Shaheen in a recent interview with NTD, an affiliate of The Epoch Times.
“In no way do the tax dollars of 29 million Texans go to support such atrocious behavior and terrible human rights violations,” he added.
Shaheen, who was among a dozen sponsors for the House version of the resolution, said he first became aware of the issue around three years ago, when Falun Gong practitioners—a primary target for forced organ harvesting—approached him for help. Some of them hadn’t heard from their detained families in years, he said.
“It was some meetings I’ll never forget,” said Shaheen. He said he was “just horrified” upon hearing about “what the Chinese government was doing.”
The meditation discipline Falun Gong was widely popular in China during the 1990s. By state estimates, around 70 million to 100 million people were practicing it as of 1999. Yet such popularity drew the regime’s ire. In July that year, a nation-wide persecution campaign began, designed to eradicate the faith. Practitioners of Falun Gong have since faced police harassment, detention, physical torture, and organ harvesting.
Shaheen wrote to the Chinese Embassy in Washington demanding to know the whereabouts of the detained families of Texas Falun Gong practitioners, but never heard back, he said.
Dr. Howard Monsour, a gastroenterologist in Granbury who testified to the state senate on the resolution, said that the resolution is “a very important beginning” to shed light on the organ harvesting issue and “many other abuses.”
“I don’t think that you can meet any of the people who’ve been tortured, imprisoned in China and not start to have a feeling of human rights abuses that have occurred and the need to go out and make it public,” he told NTD in late April.
Monsour, who has decades of experience on liver transplantation, said the regime’s organ harvesting practice was “beyond belief.”
“This is something that goes back to Nazi Germany and things they did with the Jews, and the story needs to be told,” he said. “We need to get this out there, and we need to stop this practice.”
Around a decade ago Monsour was the director of a liver cancer program where he met a patient—a Texas resident—whose condition had become too serious to get a liver transplant surgery.
After getting the same responses from a number of hospitals, the man flew to China for a liver priced at $88,000. The man passed away eight months later due to the spread of the cancer.
“Yes, we all like to think we’re moral individuals. But when we’re faced with death, you know, we’ll try anything. And we really have to protect our people from going over and doing this,” he said.
Monsour over the last year has talked with many medical professionals about the issue. Many couldn’t believe it because “it sounds like a horror movie,” he said.
“The look on people’s eyes—people can’t believe it,” he said. “That’s going to be the challenge to get people to believe this because it sounds so horrific.”
At the state senate hearing, a survivor from the persecution said he saw an ambulance arriving at midnight, and inmates would lie on beds facing the wall, waiting for their names to be called. The three people taken from his cell never came back.
Monsour was hopeful that the resolution could help get the words out.
“I don’t think you’ll see any American who—we believe in the freedom—will not, you know, support to stop what’s going on in China at this time,” he said.
Brenda Chen contributed to this report.