On Tuesday March 10th, Democrats halted a new anti-human trafficking bill due to a slip of abortion language infused within the bill. The new bill titled S.178 – Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015, would provide human trafficking survivors with resources, while at the same time would fine and penalizes traffickers. As many have mentioned this block on the bill prevents the government from helping trafficked survivors and simply brings to front Democrats own political agenda. The situation heightens as Senator Mitch McConnell has stated that he will not move the nomination of Attorney General Nominee Loretta Lynch to a vote until the human trafficking bill is passed- as stated in Red State.
The main problem pointed out within the bill is that the Hyde language, the language that describes the abortion restrictions, is extended to a five year period versus just lasting one year. Meaning that the money collected would restrict trafficked survivors from attaining abortions through what they would receive if this bill was passed and fines and fees were collected from the traffickers. Democrats disagree on these restrictions and do not want to pass the bill unless the boundaries set on abortion are changed. Also, the flip flop of Democrats views on the bill has shifted, Texas senator Cornyn has stated.
If the Democrats wanted to hold back the bill, why did they choose to do it now? Why did they not present their concern over the language when the bill was presented during committee? Some are blaming this on the pro-abortion groups who heard of the bill and began protesting to Democrats before it was time to vote. As Senator John Thune nicely said, “it’s unconscionable that Democrats would put politics above such important legislation. The politics have to stop.” We hope capitol hill will settle this issue quickly, because when this bill passes, it could potentially help many young women and girls stuck in the trafficking trade here in America.