March 27, 2015 11:00 am -

[su_thin_right_skyscraper_ad]Democratic Senators are being accused of standing in the way of legislation that would fight human trafficking because of a provision that prevents monies from going to help women obtain abortions. Republicans want to apply the Hyde Amendment, which prevents taxpayer dollars from going to abortions. But, as Senator Patrick Leahy points out, no taxpayer dollars would be involved:

“Now, whether taxpayer dollars should be used to ensure the full range of health care options available to this very vulnerable population is an important debate. We will have that another day. But the application of the Hyde amendment when zero taxpayer dollars are involved is unprecedented. It represents a very significant change in Federal policy….    Yesterday, my friend, the senior Senator from Texas, argued that the inclusion of the language was routine, that this does not change the status quo at all. Well that is simply not accurate. The Hyde amendment is about keeping taxpayer dollars out of the abortion debate. We may have different opinions on the issue, but that is not what we are talking about here.  The money at issue in this bill is not taxpayer dollars, it is money collected from sex traffickers. The bottom line is that the offender-financed fund created in this bill relies on zero taxpayer dollars.  So if you want to maintain current practice, you have to remove this provision.”

Glenn Kessler at the Washington Post further notes:

The Democrats appear to have the upper hand in the argument over the Crime Victims Fund, which appears analogous to the proposed human-trafficking victims fund. While the Hyde amendment applies to Medicare trust funds, which includes nontaxpayer dollars, that does involve a mixing of appropriated and nonappropriated dollars.

But the issue is not entirely clear-cut, since as far as we can tell, until now few asked whether money from the Crime Victims Fund has been used to pay for abortions. That is a key reason why we are not making a definitive ruling in this case.

In fact, there may be a solution to the legislative stalemate. If the Hyde-like language in Justice Appropriations does in fact apply to the Crime Victims Fund, then there is little need to also have such language in the trafficking bill. Both sides could agree that the rules now in place apply, without actually stating that in the law.



D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

2 responses to Abortion Gets In Way Of Human Trafficking Bill

  1. nola878 March 27th, 2015 at 11:34 am

    Once again, Republicans demonstrate that they don’t give a flying f*ck about people.

  2. Jake March 27th, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    Seems to me the Republicans are not so opposed to human trafficking – maybe because they are involved in it themselves? Anyone looking into how some of these Republican politicians are making their money?