WASHINGTON, DC — Planned Parenthood Federation of America launched digital ads across seven states today, urging supporters to call their senators and tell them to stop playing politics with women’s health and pass the Justice for Victims of Human Trafficking Act without restricting access to safe, legal abortion. The bill gained national attention last month, when opponents of women’s health derailed the otherwise bipartisan effort by tucking abortion restrictions into the bill. This is one of nearly 30 attempts to limit abortion access in the last three months and when Congress returns to session next week they’re expected to take the measure up again.

 

You can view creative of the ads here.

 

They urge the public to call on Senators Kelly Ayotte (NH), Pat Toomey (PA), Rob Portman (OH), Marco Rubio (FL), Mitch McConnell (KY), Ron Johnson (WI), and Roy Blunt (MO) to pass the human trafficking bill without placing additional burdens on women’s health care decisions. These members have made combating human trafficking a top priority, yet are delaying aid in order to advance an extreme agenda that takes away abortion access for women in already vulnerable situations.

 

The ad focused on Senator Ayotte reads:

 

Senator Ayotte is denying aid for trafficking victims. All to limit access to safe and legal abortion. Call Senator Ayotte: Tell her to put women ahead of politics 1-512-337-4020 #WomenOverPolitics

 

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 areport co-written by Laura J. Lederer, a former senior advisor to the U.S. Department of State.

 

Statement from Cecile Richards, President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

 

“Despite campaigning on jobs and the economy, politicians in Washington are trying to advance an extreme agenda that would be particularly harmful to low-income women. It’s particularly cruel that this attack on women’s health is derailing important legislation to support survivors of human trafficking. A bill that was intended to help women is instead being use to hurt them, which is not what the American public wants Congress to do.

 

“Democrats, Independents, and Republicans want abortion to remain safe and legal and oppose political interference in women’s personal health care decisions.  While their stories and their circumstances are different, every woman making a decision about her pregnancy deserves to be treated with compassion and dignity.  Women need access to good health care, not barriers, condemnation, or shame.

 

“We’re urging politicians in Congress, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, to stop playing politics with women’s health. If politicians in Washington are serious about reducing the need for abortion, they should increase investments in programs that are proven to work — including sex education and access to the full range of affordable birth control.”

 

In 2013, the Republican Party called for a “forward-leaning vision” to address the concerns of women. And yet, within a few short months of controlling each chamber, they’ve allowed a group of extreme politicians to seemingly use every opportunity to try to curtail women’s rights, making nearly 30 attempts to interfere with access to safe, legal abortion.

 

Background:

  • The anti-abortion language that was slipped into the Senate human trafficking bill would apply Hyde restrictions, which limit abortion to the cases of rape, incest or when the life of the women is at risk, to women who previously did not face its constraints on their health care decisions.
  • While the Hyde Amendment has only ever applied to taxpayer dollars, the Senate language attempts to impose Hyde on funds containing absolutely no taxpayer money.
  • Legislation to protect survivors of human trafficking has historically passed Republican-led Congresses without this anti-abortion language; and politicians are even holding up the nomination of Loretta Lynch, who would be the first African American woman to serve as attorney general of the United States and has a record of prosecuting human traffickers, unless the bill is passed with the anti-abortion measures intact.

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Planned Parenthood Federation of America

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Published

April 09, 2015