Students for Life Prez: Sex Trafficking Victims ‘Thrown Under the Bus’ for Abortion

Media spin the story of trafficking act with provision against abortion.

Well, an issue doesn’t get much clearer than this; according to pro-life group Students for Life of America, the Senate is debating “Taxpayer Funded Abortion vs. Victims of Sex Trafficking.” 

The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, a bipartisan-supported anti-human trafficking bill authored by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), faced backlash on March 10 from Democrats because of a provision prohibiting abortion funding. Picking sides, the media claimed the “anti-abortion” language was a “snag” the GOP “sneaked” in. In response, Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life, challenged the media and argued that the issue is sex trafficking victims being sacrificed by the abortion absolutists. 

“[T]he real story is that the abortion lobby and their cohorts in the Senate are deliberately throwing the victims of sex trafficking under the bus,” she stressed to MRC Culture, “just so that they can force taxpayers to fund abortions.” 

Hawkins said “[t]he media spin that this story is all about Republicans sneaking in a federal funding of abortion restriction” was “not only inaccurate but irresponsible reporting. The bill was introduced in early January and passed unanimously out of committee,” she explained, “which gave lawmakers plenty of time to read it.” 

On March 10, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) complained about the bill’s inclusion of the Hyde amendment, which bars taxpayer funding for abortion: “But we didn’t know it was in the bill, and … the bill will not come off this floor as long as that language is in the bill.”

In opposition, Sen. Cornyn retorted, “That presupposes that none of their staff briefed their senators on what was in the legislation, that nobody read a 68-page bill and that senators would vote for a bill — much less co-sponsor it — without reading it and knowing what’s in it.” He added about the bill, released publicly since January 13, “None of that strikes me as plausible.” 

But a Democrat said it, so the media regurgitated it. Politico’s headline, in an article by Burgess Everett and Seung Min Kim, lamented over the, “abortion snag.” The New York Times’ Emmarie Huetteman also noted the “snag” and “unexpected obstacle” as well as “the Democrats’ sense of betrayal.” 

An AP report by David Epso criticized, “Abortion issue clouds fate of trafficking bill,” while CNN’s Ted Barrett described how, “How the Senate managed to muck up an anti-human trafficking bill.” “GOP Sneaks Anti-Abortion Language Into Bipartisan Human Trafficking Bill,” The Huffington Post’s Jennifer Bendery and Amanda Terkel accused

Yahoo! health writer (and Guardian writer, and Jezebel founder) Jennifer Gerson Uffalussy decided, “Democrats will surely be double- and triple-proofing everything that their Republican colleagues send their way after this snafu, wary of women’s rights being stripped when they least suspect it.” 

More liberal feminist sites didn’t hold back either. For Think Progress, Tara Culp-Ressler whined that the “Republican Amendment Could Force Underage Rape Victims To Carry Their Pregnancies To Term” in her headline. 

Bustle’s Lauren Barbato accused, “Senate Republicans did the seemingly impossible: they politicized the bill by tacking an abortion restriction onto the victims’ fund.” “[T]hey quietly—one might say sneakily—added language,” said Jezebel’s Anna Merlan.

For contrast, LifeNews’ Steven Ertelt’s headline read, “Democrats Block Bill to Help Human Trafficking Victims Because it Won’t Fund Their Abortions.” National Review’s Ian Tuttle’s asked, “Why Is Harry Reid Blocking a Sex-Trafficking Bill over Abortion Funding if He’s ‘Strongly Pro-Life’?”

But they were in the media minority. 

ABC, CBS and NBC failed to mention the story during their broadcast news shows. 

“Haven’t these poor women and little girls been through enough?” Hawkins asked. “I’d like Planned Parenthood and the Senators who are holding up this bill to look these victims in the eye and tell them they are refusing to help them because they want Americans to pay for abortions.” 

And maybe the pro-abortion media, too.



— Katie Yoder is Staff Writer, Joe and Betty Anderlik Fellow in Culture and Media at the Media Research Center. Follow Katie Yoder on Twitter.