A growing number of county governments in the United States are warning Americans who may travel to China for transplant surgery that they are at risk of becoming accomplices in state-sponsored forced organ harvesting.
Spotsylvania County, Virginia, on March 23 became the eighth county this year to approve a resolution condemning the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for forcibly harvesting organs from prisoners of conscience.
People from all over the world flock to China, at the cost of tens of thousands of dollars, for organ transplants, often due to shorter wait times. However, an independent tribunal found in 2019 that prisoners, mainly of whom are Falun Gong practitioners, are being killed on a “significant scale” for their organs for use on the transplant market.
Kevin Marshall, supervisor of Berkeley District in Spotsylvania County, told The Epoch Times on March 25 that spreading awareness of the crime is crucial in stopping Americans from unknowingly participating in it.
“A lot of folks here are not aware of it,” he said.
“Before it was brought to our attention … we had no idea any of this was happening. And now we do, and we’re going to take a step to do something about it.”
The resolution urges the U.S. government to investigate China’s organ transplant program and to take measures to end the regime’s practice of forced organ harvesting. Earlier this month, a bipartisan bill was introduced to the U.S. House and Senate that would sanction Chinese officials involved in the practice.
Several other Virginia counties have passed similar resolutions in recent weeks, including Warren, Madison, and Fauquier counties.
“This is a crime against humanity,” Walter Mabe, supervisor for Shenandoah District in Warren County, told The Epoch Times on March 25. “We should be standing up against it.”
The largest group of victims of forced organ harvesting are practitioners of Falun Gong, which is a spiritual discipline based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.
The practice spread in China in the 1990s and soon gained around 70 million adherents, according to estimates by Chinese authorities. In July 1999, the CCP began statewide persecution to eradicate the practice. According to the Falun Dafa Information Center, millions of its followers have been detained, and hundreds of thousands have been tortured.
Chris Cloud, a realtor from Fauquier County, told The Epoch Times that organ harvesting is a crime so outrageous it’s hard to believe that it’s taking place. Because of this, “many people want to turn a blind eye from that and not think about it,” he said.
But forced organ harvesting needs to be stopped at any cost, said Cloud.
“That type of behavior should not be allowed on this planet.”
Sherry Dong contributed to this article.