Groups Deliver 220K Petition Signatures Urging Senate to Reject Abortion Restrictions in Human Trafficking Bill
For Immediate Release: April 16, 2015
WASHINGTON, DC -- More than 220,000 petition signatures have been delivered to Members of Congress, urging them to reject the most recent attacks on safe, legal abortion being pushed forward by Senator John Cornyn and his allies as part of an otherwise bipartisan effort to support survivors of human trafficking. This is one of nearly 30 attempts to restrict access to safe and legal abortion that have been made over the last three months in Congress and is part of the same dangerous trend that has dismantled abortion across the nation and in Senator Cornyn’s home state of Texas.
The petition signatures were collected by CREDO Action, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
Senator Cornyn's so-called "proposal" still expands Hyde, would apply Hyde restrictions to a new population of women, and is part of a broader agenda to interfere in women’s personal health care decisions. Since taking office in December 2002, Senator Cornyn has taken more than 28 anti-women’s health votes. His intentions are clear: “I believe that all life should be treated with dignity and respect, and I am committed to doing all I can to protect innocent life.”
Together, NARAL Pro-Choice America, CREDO Action, and Planned Parenthood Action Fund are urging members of the Senate to reject any attempt to deny survivors of human trafficking access to the full range of reproductive health care, including safe and legal abortion. These women need compassion and support – not barriers, condemnation, and shame.
“This is political grandstanding at its worst,” said NARAL Pro-Choice America President, Ilyse Hogue. “Anti-choice Republicans in Congress have repeatedly prioritized their obsession with banning abortion over progress for the current needs of our country. Survivors of human trafficking need protections, without obstruction. Many of these women have experienced multiple pregnancies in the course of being trafficked and — robbed of their past — deserve the right to determine their own future. Playing politics on backs of these women who are facing some of the most unfathomable situations, reveals just how disturbingly out of touch these anti-choice Republicans are with the will of the American people. I urge senators to reject Cornyn’s amendment, pass a clean trafficking bill, and get to business of moving our country forward.”
“If Republicans really care about survivors of human trafficking, they can do one simple thing – offer up a clean version of the Justice for Victims in Trafficking Act that doesn't block these women's access to reproductive health care,” said Becky Bond, Political Director at CREDO Action. “The Cornyn amendment is nothing more than an accounting trick, which shows that what Republicans really care about is pandering to their extremist, anti-woman base.”
“What victims of human trafficking need is access to health services and other support, not the accounting gimmick that Senator John Cornyn has offered,” said Cecile Richards, president, Planned Parenthood Action Fund. “His relentless effort to use the trafficking bill to advance an ideological agenda to limit access to abortion is part of a broader agenda that we are seeing all over the country at the state and now federal level. Americans agree – politicians shouldn’t be involved in women’s health care decisions. What’s most troubling is that a measure that was intended to help survivors of human trafficking is now being used to hurt them. We call on the Senate to reject this amendment and any other attempts by Senator Cornyn and his allies to interfere in a woman’s personal health care decisions. These women need compassion and support – not barriers, condemnation, and shame.”
In a survey of sex trafficking victims, seven in 10 women said they had at least one pregnancy while trafficked, and one-fifth of respondents reported five or more pregnancies. The women polled in the study also reported being forced to have sex with an average of 13 “buyers” a day, and more than half reported having had abortions, according to a report co-written by Laura J. Lederer, a former senior advisor to the U.S. Department of State.
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NARAL Pro-Choice America is a non-partisan organization that is focused on activating all people who believe in the full range of policies that support healthy, informed decisions about when, how, and with whom we have families. NARAL leads various campaigns and other advocacy efforts to assure these rights and reproductive freedom.
CREDO Action, part of CREDO Mobile, is a social change network of 3.5 million activists, sending millions of petition signatures and tens of thousands of phone calls to decision-makers each year. CREDO Action members also participate in meetings, protests and other direct action for progressive change.