Republican North Carolina Sen. Ted Budd is leading lawmakers in introducing the Stopping Traffickers and Their Accomplices Act.
The legislation, co-sponsored by Republican senators Josh Hawley of Missouri, Roger Marshall of Kansas, and Rick Scott of Florida, would require abortionists and abortion providers to file reports with the National Human Trafficking Hotline if they question whether a woman is a victim of human trafficking.
If abortion providers do not report cases of suspected trafficking to local law enforcement within 24 hours, they could face criminal prosecution. The legislation would also require abortionists to participate in training every year that would help them recognize the signs of trafficking.
“Human trafficking is a horrific crime that must be confronted and eradicated,” Budd told The Daily Signal. “Given the nature of how abortion clinics operate, it is necessary to provide needed accountability to ensure they are not aiding and abetting the abuse of women enslaved in the sex trade.”
Pro-life groups including Concerned Women for America, Students for Life Action, Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, and Heritage Action for America support the legislation.
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In a statement to The Daily Signal, Concerned Women for America CEO and President Penny Nance highlighted the concerning links between abortion and human trafficking, praising Budd’s legislation as a “vital procedural” effort to help women.
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“Most Americans find it hard to believe that slavery still exists, yet an estimated 27.6 million worldwide are victims with the majority being women and girls,” she said. “It is no surprise that abortion facilities aid and abet traffickers by ending the life of their little one, only to be sent right back into forced sex labor. Studies show that it is common for women who are being trafficked … [to be] the victim of at least one forced abortion.”
According to the State Department’s 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report, female sex trafficking victims who have become pregnant may be forced to undergo abortions, “usually in unsafe conditions, posing further trauma and health risks,” and one study on maternity care for trafficked women found that one in four women became pregnant while trafficked.
“The corrupt partnership between human and sex traffickers with the abortion industry is well known, an ugly relationship that needs to be stopped to protect women caught in the crossfire,” Students for Life Action President Kristan Hawkins said in a statement, adding, “Abortion is an avenue for traffickers to continue their horrific abuse of women and girls.”
“The abortion industry must be held accountable for aiding and abetting traffickers, and any opposition to this humanitarian bill will show that abortion’s financial interests are being placed about the needs of women,” Hawkins said. “The Stopping Traffickers and Their Accomplices Act is a great step towards preventing the abortion industry from profiting off of sex trafficking and ignoring the crimes they may be facilitating.”
LifeNews Note: Mary Margaret Olohan writes for Daily Signal, where this article originally appeared.