Abortion and sex trafficking aren’t often brought together in the same sentence, but they have a lot more in common than meets the eye and doubles the devastation in many women’s lives.Earlier this week, our friends at Americans United for Life and Global Centurion hosted a briefing on Capitol Hill on the connection of abortion to sex trafficking and various ways the women are impacted from their mental health to their physical health.
What people may not realize is that sex trafficking victims are often coerced into abortions by the trafficker so that he or she can continue to make a profit off of them. Believe it or not, it’s not always a male who is the trafficker, and it’s not unusual for women to be in charge of a harem of victims. At other times, trafficking victims are impregnated by their pimp so that they can remain under their control.
As discussed in our “The Link Between Pornography, Sex Trafficking, and Abortion,” it’s nearly impossible to know the total number of abortions committed on sex-trafficked women” but a in a survey of 66 women who were sex trafficking survivors, about 71 percent reported that they became pregnant at least once while being trafficked, and about 21 percent said they had five or more pregnancies while being trafficked and that from these 66 women they had a total of 114 abortions among them while being trafficked.
Abortion facilities like Planned Parenthood aren’t complaining because it’s more business for them. In a 2014 Beazley Institute Report, over 1,000 female victims of sex trafficking from across the United States gave information regarding their experience at health care facilities. Over a quarter (29.6 percent) of the survivors had visited a Planned Parenthood facility while they were being trafficked. One victim of sex trafficking said that they went to Planned Parenthood because “they didn’t ask any questions.”
Instead of reporting the traffickers, Planned Parenthood enabled them to abuse these women over and over again. More stories like these can be read in our Planned Parenthood Is Not Pro-Woman publication. Of course, it’s one thing to see the statistics — and another to hear the stories that put faces to the numbers. Our Director of Life, Culture, and Women’s Advocacy, Patrina Mosley, was there and explains that it was very emotional for listeners to hear the evils these women experience. But on the other hand, you could also tell it was freeing for the survivors to give their testimonies, because they know more people will be moved to fight for justice.
Patrina also shared on the panel that, in essence, the way forward is understanding the signs of sex trafficking in our everyday surroundings. The more people pay attention, the more likely it is that someone will be rescued. And secondly, there’s no way around the part values and sexual morality play in this crisis. Paying for sex and killing a child in the womb both devalue human dignity. Alongside punitive justice to deter bad behavior, we cannot abolish the modern slavery and holocaust of our time until we return to understand that sexual relations were designed to occur in the sanctity and safety of marriage.
Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.
EDITORS NOTE: This FRC column is republished with permission.