Democrats Block Bill to Help Human Trafficking Victims Because it Won’t Fund Their Abortions

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 10, 2015   |   1:56PM   |   Washington, DC

For Democrats, abortion trumps everything else in politics and that axiom is seen on Capitol Hill this week as Democrats in Congress are blocking a bill to help human trafficking victims because the measure won’t pay for their abortions.

The legislation passed through the Senate Judiciary Committee without any problems but, now that it’s slated for consideration on the floor of the U.S. Senate, pro-abortion activists are raising a stink about how funds for restitution for human trafficking victims won’t pay for abortions. The objection is offensive to victims of human trafficking and millions of girls and young women around the world who are victimized by it, putting abortion ahead of meeting their needs.

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, a pro-life Republican, is the lead sponsor of the measure to help human trafficking victims and aides to pro-abortion Democrats apparently missed the fact, during the committee hearing, that Cornyn crafted the bill in a way to help women as opposed to making Americans pay for abortions.

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The liberal web site Politico has more on the situation:

Democrats did not filibuster the bill on Monday and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said he’d work to allow the bill to move forward, leaving Republicans privately fuming that Democrats were provoking a fight over language that is routinely added to spending bills.

Republicans said that the so-called Hyde Amendment language — referring to riders often inserted in spending legislation barring the use of federal funds for abortion except in cases of rape, incest and the life of the mother — was in the bill that Democrats supported. They wondered if those Democratic senators on the Judiciary Committee voted for a bill they hadn’t read.

“This language was added last year and by their own admission Senate Democrats were aware of the language before they all unanimously voted to support the bill out of committee. To cry foul now is disingenuous and not deserving of these survivors. Politics will happen in the Senate, but as Sen. Reid indicated it has no place on this bill,” said a Cornyn aide.

It’s not clear how the impasse on the popular bill can be resolved, though Democrats are likely to insist on a vote on an amendment to strip it out.

This isn’t the first time Democrats have put abortion ahead of helping human trafficking victims. The Obama Administration put abortion ahead of human trafficking twice — by denying a grant to the Catholic bishops to help victims because they wouldn’t promote abortion and by refusing to investigate how the Planned Parenthood abortion business covered up potential cases of sex trafficking.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops had previously received a five-year $19 million grant to help victims of sex trafficking during the administration of pro-life President George W. Bush. Sensitive to how women are exploited in the sex industry, the Catholic bishops prohibit any subcontractors from using the funds to pay for or promote abortions. Instead, the Catholic bishops provide comprehensive case management services to survivors including medical and mental health services.

While the Obama administration extended the contract briefly, the bishops were notified that it would not be renewed. Instead, Obama officials awarded the grant to three other groups (Tapestri of Atlanta, Heartland Human Care Services of Chicago and the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants of Washington) — even though the bishops have helped more than 2,700 victims with the funding.


The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held the hearing on the administration’s decision.

During the hearing, committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, a California Republican, said the decision violated the Obama administration’s “pledge to be the most transparent in history.”

“Unfortunately, today, we are presented with an example of how that goal is not being met and an opportunity to understand how the federal grant-making process has been politicized,” he said.

“The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has begun an investigation into the process used by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement to award grants that fund many types of care and services,” he told the hearing. “That investigation has uncovered many disturbing facts about the grant awards process, including: the most experienced and top rated national applicant was not selected, and lower-ranked organizations were somehow funded. The process was delayed for months while the agency struggled to find ways to inject new criteria into the process, and—of great concern—the judgment of experienced, career-level professionals was discarded when political appointees chose to overrule transparent decision-making.”

“These actions appear to constitute an abuse of discretion and undermine the integrity of the process, while potentially violating the spirit, if not the letter, of federal laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination based on religious beliefs,” Issa said.