When you hear the term “human sex trafficking,” your thoughts probably go to some foreign land. Yet, the reality is that this crisis is taking place in your own backyard, in communities across America. It’s closer and more prevalent than you may realize. And abortion’s part of the equation.
Human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery, claiming the lives of countless women and children. Worldwide, it’s estimated that nearly 19 million people are enslaved in the commercial sex industry. The FBI reports that the average age of entry into sex trafficking is 12 to 14. Young girls, and sometimes boys, are lured in by pimps who promise a better life, love and acceptance or fame. One of the common tactics is to pose as an agent offering the girl a career in modeling. The girls are enticed, then manipulated, intimidated and overpowered, in most cases violently. Some are beaten, raped and forced into submission. In addition to the physical harm, the psychological abuse debilitates a girl’s sense of self. They’re brainwashed into believing that they are nothing. They’re told that no one will want them because of what they’ve done. Most disturbing, their lives can be threatened if they try to resist. It’s the ultimate victimization of body, mind and soul.
Beyond the statistics are the personal and wrenching stories. Jane (name has been changed) was just 14 and had grown up in an abusive home. Her mother was a drug addict, so she lived with her father. Her father’s roommate molested her. When she finally had the courage to tell someone about it, her father turned on her. She went to live with a family friend who forced her into prostitution. A 36-year-old man, she called Jay, said he loved her and wanted her to have a better life. Together, they moved to a new state, where Jay demanded she sell herself. Jane resisted and he got violent, choking and punching her until she agreed. She became a victim by trusting the wrong person. On several occasions, Jane feared for her life. One night, she awoke to a firearm being held at her head. Eventually, Jane was able to escape when she was arrested and an FBI agent offered to send her to Children of the Night, a nonprofit organization that rescues children from prostitution. When asked why she didn’t leave, she said, “I had nowhere to go. I didn’t know anybody. Where was I to go? He threatened to kill me all the time.” Jane has now earned her high school diploma and is attending college. She finally feels that people actually care about her.
If you wonder about the scale of this issue, you need to look no further than recent news. It shows that anyone can be a victim. Brittney Cason, a sports reporter, was approached by a supposed talent agent to be a correspondent covering the Olympics in Sochi. He contacted her through her website and seemed to be legitimate. Brittney did her research and saw his credentials and his connections within the industry. She went through an extensive four-month application process, sending samples of her work. Then she was told that she was chosen by an LA production company and again, everything seemed to check out. A contract with salary, a flight itinerary and work visa were provided.
Then two weeks before the scheduled departure, Brittney received a strange call. The agent said he needed to expand his team and asked her to recruit some of her female friends in the industry. It struck Brittney as odd that she had to go through four months of screening and now the offer was somehow extended to her friends without even seeing their work? So she decided to do some detective work. Partnering with a fellow broadcaster who was also slated to go to Sochi, they contacted the production company in LA to check the agent’s credentials. The company didn’t know who he was. They advised the ladies not to travel and the young women immediately contacted their lawyers to investigate. Brittney says, “The amount of effort this man put into posing like a talent acquisition agent is not only deceiving, it’s alarming.” The Olympics are a prominent location for trafficking and American women are typically sold for more in foreign countries.
In addition, the Super Bowl is known as a prime event for trafficking in the US. According to a Reuters report, this year, 45 people were arrested and 16 minors were rescued in a sting in New York and New Jersey. FBI officials said the juveniles were ages 13 to 17 and included high school students and children who had been reported missing. It’s chilling to realize these victims can be anyone’s daughters or sons.
As we confront this issue, it cannot be overlooked that there’s a connection between sex trafficking and abortion. It aids the perpetrator in further abusing the girl. And Planned Parenthood has been caught as a willing accomplice to the sex industry. In an undercover investigation, LiveAction sent actors into seven facilities, posing as a prostitute and pimp to inquire about Planned Parenthood’s services. During the conversation, they revealed that they were sex workers and even that they worked with girls as young as 14. According to the law, sex trafficking is considered a federal crime punishable by imprisonment of 10 years to life. But Planned Parenthood didn’t comply with the law. Instead they offered support, secrecy and cover-up by saying:
- “We see people from every walk of life. There’s no judgment, no sharing of information here.”
- “We want to know as little information as possible.”
- And in regard to abortions for 14 year olds, “There’s ways, like judicial bypass, that we can get around that (parental consent), if you guys ever need it.”
If the abortion industry truly cared about women’s health and wellbeing, they wouldn’t tolerate this sexual abuse of girls. Now, the girls are doubly victimized—once by a pimp and again by an abortionist.
As pro-lifers, we must educate ourselves and advocate for the protection of these young women. At our website, we’ve put together a collection of articles, resources and rescue organizations. Let’s continue in our fight to protect the priceless value of innocent human life.
LifeNews.com Note: Bradley Mattes is the executive director of Life Issues Institute, a national pro-life educational group. Mattes is a veteran of the pro-life cause, with over 33 years of educational, political and humanitarian experience.