OVERLAND PARK, KS — Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, along with their colleagues at Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Planned Parenthood Federation of America, are urging supporters to call Senator Blunt and tell him 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 Sen. Blunt and his allies derailed the otherwise bipartisan effort by tucking abortion restrictions into the bill. Planned Parenthood Federation of America has launched digital ads urging Sen. Blunt and six of his colleagues to stop playing politics with women’s health, which can be viewed here.
This is one of nearly 30 attempts to limit abortion access in the last three months, and as Congress returns to session this week, they’re expected to take the measure up again. These members claim to 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.
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.
“If Senator Blunt is serious about reducing human suffering, he’ll pass the Justice for Victims of Human Trafficking Act and leave the political games behind. Senator Blunt can then help women by increasing investments in sex education and access to birth control, not by passing laws designed to judge and punish women,” said Laura McQuade, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri.
“Women in Missouri and around the world deserve to be treated with compassion and respect, regardless of the circumstances in which they find themselves. They need access to good health care, not barriers, condemnation, or judgment.”
- 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.
4401 W. 109th Street, Overland Park, KS 66211 ♦ 913.312.5100
Planned Parenthood is a vital resource for our community and for women and families throughout Kansas and Missouri. We are a trusted source of health care and education for thousands of women, men, and children. For nearly 80 years, women have relied on Planned Parenthood to keep themselves and their families safe and healthy.
Elise Higgins, 913.345.4628
Leanne Mayer, 913.345.4640
April 13, 2015