Last week, I did something that could become a crime in Montana – I raised my hand, rolled up my sleeve and donated lifesaving blood to help a patient in need.
Introduced by Rep. Greg Kmetz, R-Miles City, House Bill 645 would criminalize both blood and organ donation in Montana by anyone who has received a COVID-19 vaccine. It would also make it a crime to receive blood or an organ from a person vaccinated for COVID.
Simply put, this bill would have a devastating impact on our blood supply, our hospitals and patient care across the state. Experts estimate that if it passes, this measure would reduce Montana’s blood supply by 80 percent and have life-and-death consequences for so many who depend on these products being available on hospital shelves. Every two seconds, someone in this country needs lifesaving blood, whether it be a cancer patient, an expecting mom, an accident victim or someone undergoing surgery. Politics shouldn’t get in the way.
Blood can’t be manufactured – the only way to meet patient demand is through the generosity of blood donors. Encouraging people to put a needle in their arm and help someone they don’t know is difficult enough without criminalizing this altruistic act. Blood banks already struggle to meet current needs, and HB645 would have very real and very dire consequences for all of us and our loved ones.
Please let the House Human Services committee know you oppose HB645 by visiting https://leg.mt.gov/web-messaging/ and sending a quick and clear message.
A concerned Montana blood donor