The Senate will vote Thursday on a cloture motion to end debate on a bill that provides help, support and justice for victims of human trafficking. But Democrats, who have been holding up the bill in order to try to fund abortions, may vote to sustain the filibuster and put abortion politics ahead of the interests of women.
The bill would fine and further penalize human traffickers and provide additional justice for victims. Those fines eventually become federal dollars and would need to be covered under current federal law protecting Americans from funding 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.
Even though the Hyde Amendment has been federal law for decades, abortion advocates, with the support of the Planned Parenthood abortion business, are objecting to Hyde language in the bill to prohibit forcing Americans to pay for abortions.
Cornyn says he is stunned Democrats are opposing helping human trafficking victims because they’re not getting their way on abortion funding.
“Well, imagine my surprise to find out that the reason why the Democratic Minority is going to filibuster this anti-trafficking bill is because they object to language that has been the law of the land for 39 years,” Cornyn said. “Imagine my surprise when that very language was part of the bill that was filed in mid-January, and a month later was marked up and voted on in the Senate Judiciary Committee, and all Members of the Judiciary Committee – Democrats and Republicans alike – voted for it. They voted for it unanimously.”
“My hope is this: that Members of the United States Senate will rise above this – this agreement, this posturing, this attempt to try to play gotcha at the expense of these victims of human trafficking. No Member should attempt to make this bill a debate about extraneous issues and policies that have been settled on a bipartisan basis for 39 years,” he added.
Key pro-life groups are outraged that Democrats are putting abortion funding ahead of helping sex trafficking victims.
In an email to LifeNews.com, the national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List slammed Senate Democrats for threatening to block S. 178, the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, because the legislation contains the Hyde Amendment. The group noted that the committee approved the bill — with Democrat support — on a unanimous vote.
“Democrats once again are putting abortion ideology first. The Hyde Amendment, which stops taxpayer dollars from going to fund elective abortion, has been a part of this legislation since January. Nearly 70 percent of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion on-demand,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List. “Minority Leader Reid is ignoring history and carelessly throwing victims of human trafficking under the bus in order to cater to the abortion industry. This is abortion politics at its worst and the most vulnerable among us – women and unborn children alike – deserve better.”
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.