Is abortion the ultimate empowerment issue for women or the ultimate exploitation of them? Feminists have argued both in the past 100-plus years.
But mounting evidence is bolstering pro-life feminists’ position that legalized abortion hurts women as well as their unborn babies, especially with the rise of human trafficking. Because abortion is legal and widely available in the U.S. and Europe, it is very easy for human traffickers to force their victims to abort their unborn babies.
In a report for The Independent, a British news outlet, one human trafficking victim shared how she was threatened if she did not abort her unborn child:
“If I don’t go ahead with it, I’ll be dead.”
With those chilling words, a victim of human trafficking explained to a nurse in a British hospital why she could not seek help and had to go ahead with an abortion arranged for her by a criminal gang.
The young woman later managed to escape life as a domestic slave in the UK and spoke to researchers carrying out one of the largest ever studies into the health of trafficking survivors.
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… The young woman forced to have an abortion was aged 18 to 21 and was simply too frightened of the people forcing her to work as a domestic slave to take up the nurse’s offer of help.
Her story was part of a larger study commissioned by the British Department of Health that looked at the mental and physical health of human trafficking victims.
In the report, 12 women reported having abortions and 29 percent reported being pregnant at least once while being trafficked.
Predictably, the report also found high levels of depression, anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder among human trafficking victims, including 78 percent of women and 40 percent of men. The results indicate a major need for more health care and other resources to help victims of human trafficking.
The Charlotte Lozier Institute reports more about human trafficking problems in the U.S.:
By its very nature the crime of human trafficking strips each victim of his or her humanity. Sex trafficking in particular, which is categorized by law as a “severe form” of human trafficking, rebrands the person as a product to be bought and sold for pleasure. In the United States alone, the Central Intelligence Agency estimates that around 50,000 women and children are trafficked into the United States and as many as 400,000 domestic minors are also involved in the trade each year. These alarming figures testify to the firm foothold that this hidden criminal activity has in the United States.
Former Senior Advisor on Trafficking in Persons for the U.S. Department of State and founder of the non-profit Global Centurion, Laura Lederer … [testified before Congress that] forced abortion is an “especially disturbing trend in sex trafficking.” Her study shows that 55% of the women surveyed had at least one abortion, and 30% had multiple abortions during the time of trafficking. Of these, more than half responded that the abortion was not their choice, and many responded by saying that the pressure from pimps to continue the trade did not allow for the time to carry a baby.
The evidence that the abortion industry has been complicit in this exploitation also is extremely troubling. An undercover project by the pro-life group LiveAction in 2011 uncovered evidence that Planned Parenthood employees were willing to help cover up sex traffickers arranging for abortions for underage victims.
The abortion industry claims that abortion is an empowering choice for women, but it’s becoming more clear that this is not the case. Multiple studies have shown that many women are pressured into having abortions, often by a partner or a parent. Whether a victim of human trafficking or a desperate young woman being pressured by her boyfriend, many women say their abortion was the opposite of an empowering experience.