The Pennsylvania House of Representatives on Monday passed a bill that increases the penalties for selling an infant in the commonwealth.
The legislation, House Bill 2088, comes in response to human trafficking concerns, says Rep. Joe Hackett (R-161), the bill's sponsor.
“This legislation brings the crime of selling an infant more in line with human trafficking, which is graded as a felony,” Hackett said. “We must not downgrade the crime of selling humans simply because the person being treated as a commodity is a baby.”
Existing human trafficking laws in the commonwealth require that the person in question be used for forced labor or services, so infants didn't fall under those regulations.
The legislation passed by the House raises the penalty for selling, trading, bartering or buying an infant from a misdemeanor to a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.