McConnell Calls on Dems to End Abortion Filibuster Against Human Trafficking Bill

McConnell Calls on Dems to End Abortion Filibuster Against Human Trafficking Bill April 15, 2015
Photo Source: Wikimedia, Public Domain
Photo Source: Wikimedia, Public Domain

The boys and girls in the United States Senate are doing nothing again.

However, it must be admitted that they are doing their nothing with real flair.

The reason?

It seems that most of the Ds are all in a snit over a proposed bill that would help agencies that oppose human trafficking. The bill contains a prohibition on any of the funds in the bill going to pay for abortions.

Legislation has often contained this kind of rider since the 1970s. It doesn’t prohibit anyone from getting an abortion. The debate is not about “choice.” It’s about doh-reh-me. In this case, it’s a question of whether or not to put the abortionist on the government dole by sidelining money that could be used in other ways to pay for abortions.

The Ds were all for the bill until one them read it. That’s when they discovered that it contained the language that would not allow monies to be used to pay for abortions. It’s been rock n roll, ever since. Now, all but four of the Ds (Senators Bob Casey, Joe Donnelly, Heidi Keitkamp, and Joe Manchin) are doing their level best to kill the bill.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell retaliated against the Ds’ filibuster of the bill by saying that the Senate would not vote on President Obama’s nominee for Attorney General until the bill passed. In the meantime, proponents for the prostitution/porn industries, or as they like to call themselves, advocates for “reproductive rights,” have tossed their unselfish and humanitarian thoughts into the ring and come out against the bill.

Now, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has weighed in again. “This needs to stop,” he says.

Good point, Mr Leader.


The top Republican in the Senate is challenging Democrats to stop filibustering a bill to help victims of sex trafficking over their desire to force Americans to pay for abortions.

Senate Democrats have voted a total of five times against ending debate on the bill and allowing a vote to help women because they are insistent on making Americans fund abortions. Now, pro-life Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is challenging them this week to end their filibuster and allow the bill to pass.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday that voting will take place this week on the Senate Bill 178, the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015, before President Barack Obama’s nominee for attorney general, Loretta Lynch, will be considered.

“This needs to stop,” McConnell said of Democrats blocking the bill. “This ridiculous fight over language that they’ve already voted for frequently in the past really needs to stop so we can move forward with this very important human trafficking bill.

“This is no minor issue, and once we do that, then we’ll move on to consider the president’s nominee for Attorney General,” McConnell said.

In the last two of the five votes, Democrats voted 56-42 and 57-42 against motions to allow a vote on the bill to help human trafficking victims because they are not happy that funds meant to help women won’t be used to pay for abortions. The only Democrats to join Senate Republicans in supporting sex trafficking victims over abortion funding were Sens. Bob Casey, Pa.; Joe Donnelly, Ind.; Heidi Heitkamp, N.D.; and Joe Manchin, WV.

“They all voted for the very same language in a bill in December,” Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told CNN on Sunday. “This is boilerplate language that has been in the law for almost 40 years that they all voted for three months ago in another bill.”

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21 responses to “McConnell Calls on Dems to End Abortion Filibuster Against Human Trafficking Bill”

  1. Glad to see my senator (Joe Donnelly) is on the list of senators who want to get this bill to a vote.

  2. I’m glad Mitch McConnell is holding tight on this. I think it is very important. Especially since there is a lawsuit to force legalization of prostitution, which leads to more trafficking to satisfy demand and more women needing actual help.

  3. When we we are talking about “human trafficking” and “abortion” in the same context, then the debate IS about choice.

    We are talking about women who were abducted, sold into slavery and forced to have sex, and as a result, got pregnant against their will. Sure, they can choose to get an abortion using their own resources… oh, wait, they have no resources because they just got rescued from a human trafficking ring!

    Why are we even having this discussion?

    Look, I’m not saying we have to go in the complete opposite direction and force them to get abortions against their will, but to say that women in this situation can “choose” to have an abortion if they so desire is completely disingenuous and shows a complete lack of empathy.

    And really, given the state of the laws in this country, effectively forcing women to deal with their aggressors after the fact in child custody battles is adding insult to injury.

    I dunno, its like the people advocating for this zero-tolerance policy on abortion spending are just standing by it on principle, without giving a second thought to the people who will actually be affected by the bill.

  4. It’s really not about abortion. It’s about who pays for the abortion.

    Also, why kill the bill because of abortion?

    Even if you’re pro choice — I was once, and I would not have considered killing this bill — depriving these women of all help simply because of the question of government funds being used to pay for abortion is not a kindness to them. It’s a doctrinaire disregard for their needs.

    Maybe Planned Parenthood could start offering free abortions to trafficking victims. That would hardly bankrupt them. It would simply be a way of them putting a bit of their money where their mouths are.

  5. It is so frustrating how women’s rights and women’s issues always seem to get boiled down to abortion. Never mind that we could help women, it isn’t REALLY helping women if it doesn’t include abortion.

  6. Regardless of whether the government pays for the abortion or not, we know who cannot pay for it: the victims themselves.

    Your argument about depriving them of all help because of the question of government funds being used to pay for abortion works both ways: republicans are pandering to their base while completely disregarding the needs of the victims.

    If we are okay with private and/or non-profit institutions stepping up and coordinating with government agencies to cover the cost of providing abortions to trafficking victims, then this whole thing is a joke. We acknowledge the necessity, but insist on adding layers of bureaucracy, complexity and uncertainty to the process at the expense of the victims, just so we can say we don’t support abortion on a technicality.

    The question is not why kill the bill because abortion, its why was the language introduced in the first place knowing it would only become an obstacle to getting it passed.

    If there is ever a situation where “reality often imposes on idealism when public policy is the question”, this is it. This goes beyond rape. These victims have been deprived of all dignity, choice and even humanity.

    This is not the time to make a stand on principle just because we don’t want to get our hands dirty.

  7. It’s not a partisan issue. It’s a human rights issue. It is ALWAYS better to do what you can than to refuse to do nothing because you can’t get all you want. I am talking to the Ds here. Politics is the art of the possible. Always.

    As for grandstanding; they both are. That’s all either side does anymore. They rely on dead brains in the public to cheer on “their” side and let them get away with it. And it works.

    This delay is about $raising for the next election for the Ds. That’s not something I pulled out of a hat. I know exactly what I’m talking about. On the other hand, the delay on the R’s side is about setting up public outrage to garner votes.

    That’s ALL it’s about.

    The Ds need to get real and pass the bill. This particular codicil has been repeatedly put in legislation since … I forget the year … the early or mid 70s. They are not in the majority and that’s how that particular cookie crumbles. If they want to do the right thing, they need to pass the bill.

    You go on and on about the terrible things these women have been through. Are you aware that without appropriate shelters, they are kept in prisons? Are you aware that until a few years ago they were routinely arrested? I’m talking about right here in the USA. Without shelters, they will be put in prisons and then extradited, often right back into the arms of their kidnappers.

    These shelters — I sit on the board of directors of a shelter for trafficking victims, btw — save lives.

    Quibbling over this codicil is nonsense. Pass the bill. If you don’t like it, work to amend it later. That’s the big boy, big girl way.

  8. The debate will never again really be about whether or not abortion will be available. It will always be available. The debate is how accessable abortion will be, physically and economically to those at the lower end of the economic spectrum. The pro life, abortion obstacle course movement, are alienating themselves from and vilifying themseves to, the masses, the working poor, cultural and ethnic minorities, struggling youth. Many, maybe most of these, are not politically aware and do not vote now and may never but many also eventually will. They will develop attitudes about the pro life movement and it’s members, that they will keep for a lifetime and pass on to their children. Yes, women that have abortions have children, lots of children.

  9. One problem is that this seems an attempt at re-expansion of the the Hyde amendment’s principle. Though it’s varied over time, last I checked the Hyde rule did allow federal funding to be used for abortions in the case of rape (as well as when the life of the mother was at stake).

    Most sex trafficking victims would appear to fall within the ambit of the existing rape exception — and one piece of commentary I encountered on the web suggested a vast majority would still qualify as a result, despite this new language. However, this language will make the process of obtaining one far more difficult for them, due to bureaucrats either ignorant of that exception or with a categorical repugnance, or at the very least having to sort through to make absolutely certain that the victim is one of the 98% who would qualify.

  10. That is not accurate. The bill prohibits the use of monies appropriated by the bill for the use of abortion except where the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest, or where the mother’s life is in danger if the abortion is not performed. It picks up the language from existing statute.

  11. THAT is an excellent challenge. For those of you who are pro-choice, I challenge you to, by the end of this decade, find a way to fund abortion *without* people who are pro-life. Go to your own pocketbooks for a change and get all abortion clinics *off* the government tax funding system. Better yet, find a way to fund it without going to group insurance either.

  12. While that’s useful information, since I was relatively careful in my phrasing everything I said would appear to remain accurate.

    Were there a majority actually willing to compromise, I suspect this could be resolved by modifying the bill’s proposed 18 USC 3014(e)3 “limitations” section to add language to expressly note that “rape” encompasses any coerced sex while being trafficked.

  13. You’re right, about pretty much everything you just said.

    I was irked by the dismissive statement, “this is not about choice”, when the people in question have been forced into their situation completely against their will. And while provisions limiting government spending on abortion have been around for a while, on this particular issue, I find them to be at the very least, unnecessary, and at worst, counterproductive.

    However, at the end of the day, that’s the way the game is played, and if you want to stay in the game for the long run, that means knowing when to fold.

    So while I disagree with these provisions in the bill, you’re absolutely correct in that its a far better choice to pass this bill in its current form than to do nothing at all.

  14. Wally, I don’t know where you get your ideas, but I know lots of women who are “poor” or were at one time. Some want to abort their children but most would vastly prefer to keep their kids and give them a good life. They need resources to help them.
    And that comment has nothing to do with the post.

  15. There are several studies and much anectdotal evidence that these women who have been abused in the most horrible ways, are abused again when pregnant and their babies are aborted. That is because they are again available for their abusers.
    Btw, did anybody else notice how pro-abortion a number of men are on this blog? Makes it easy for them, I guess,

  16. Given that the bill includes funding for abortion if the child is the result of rape, and that a sex trafficking victim is probably a rape victim, I agree with you that the discussion is idiotic. The non – Hoosier Democrats should talk to my Senator Joe Donnelly about why they are making fools of themselves.

  17. Sue, the law doesn’t define trafficking as prima facie rape. That’s just something one of the commenters on this blog said.

  18. When I made my initial comment, I was under the impression that the added provision was a blanket ban on all abortion spending; its the only circumstances under which objection to the bill makes sense.

    But if there are exceptions for rape victims, then this whole discussion becomes moot. This whole divide is just an overblown argument over semantics and legalese about what qualifies as “rape”.

  19. It really is more than semantics. It’s a matter of law. But your point is generally well taken.