Action Center

Connecticut bill robs motorcyclists of bodily autonomy
Connecticut Senate President Pro Tempore, Martin M. Looney, has introduced S.B. 96, a bill that would automatically assume any motorcyclist killed on the road is an organ donor if they were riding without a helmet, a choice currently available to riders over 18 years old in Connecticut. 

Simply put, this bill is an outrage and should offend every American, not just motorcyclists. Organ donation is a noble cause that regularly saves lives around the country, but the decision to become a donor is a deeply personal one — a decision this legislation takes away from motorcyclists. Not only is this bill an insult to motorcyclists, but it also violates the religious liberty of those whose faith prohibits posthumous organ donation, and is clearly an unconstitutional violation of bodily autonomy for any American. Why are motorcyclists held in such low regard that this decision is made for them? What group of citizens will have this decision taken out of their hands next? 

When the AMA spoke to Looney's staff as to why this bill was introduced, the aide cited declining rates of organ donation, a desire to discourage riding without a helmet the stated "if a motorcyclist already decides to put their life at risk by riding without a helmet, we can assume they don't care where their organs ends up."

This bill and the twisted reasoning behind it shows a callous disregard for the motorcycling public, not only of their freedom to choose to become an organ donor, but also a disregard for their very lives in the first place. The text of the bill includes a statement of purpose, which is simply “to improve public health.” If public health was really a concern, the safety of motorcyclists should be a priority. This bill would make motorcyclist safety a secondary concern, as it reduces motorcyclists to little more than a collection of organs to be harvested upon their death.

This is not the first time the American Motorcyclist Association has fought such an offensive proposal, but we hope it is the last. In 2003, the AMA defeated a similar bill in New Mexico thanks to our membership making their voices heard, and our members will do so again whenever a public official comes forward with such an appalling idea that values body parts over lives. Since 1924, the AMA has fought to protect the future of motorcycling, with our members from all walks of life coming together to celebrate and defend our two-wheeled freedom from proposals like S.B. 96.

As a motorcyclist in Connecticut, your legislators need to hear from you! Tell them this bill is an absurd violation of your rights and a despicable way to treat any group of citizens. Complete the form on this page to send a message to your officials today!

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