So the month long game of chicken on human trafficking legislation has ended and it looks like the GOP and prolife groups won.
According to Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, the money has been split so that restrictions on abortion do not apply to fees collected for the victims, which Democrats said constituted an expansion of abortion limitations. The segregated fund would pay for law enforcement services and shelters, not medical services.
Money for medical services for the victims would be fenced off in a fund furnished by taxpayer money. Federal restrictions on abortion funding would apply to that fund.
So no federal funding for abortion, right? Pro-choice groups must be disappointed, right?
Well, not Planned Parenthood who went into spin mode after the deal became public.
Here’s their first tweet which declared:
BREAKING: The Senate has reached an agreement on #JVTA that provides survivors with needed svcs & does not expand #Hyde. #WomenOverPoliticsNow if I was a pro-choicer I would read “needed svcs” as abortion since for the whole month Planned Parenthood has been saying abortion needs to be funded for victims of trafficking.
Their next tweet declares that various politicians held the line and preventing Hyde from being extended and the only bad news is that is the legislation was delayed a month.
That’s a hilarious claim of winning after less than a week ago, Planned Parenthood and NARAL co-issued a press release which urged the Senate to pass a “clean bill” and “reject any attempt to deny survivors of human trafficking access to the full range of reproductive health care, including safe and legal abortion.”
While Planned Parenthood was busy lying through their teeth and acting like the legislation meets their goals, NARAL was being more genuine and admitting that federal funds aren’t going to be used to pay for abortions.
NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue made this statement in response to the announced compromise over the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act:
"This bill, and the deal reached, are a perfect example of why the so-called Hyde amendment is bad policy and harmful to women. Because of the Hyde amendment, this bill still denies the most vulnerable women necessary access to vital health services.
When we are talking about a community in which up to eighty percent of victims end up pregnant, often multiple times, it is unconscionable that Republicans are willing to cast aside the rights and freedoms of women and families, particularly the survivors of human and sex trafficking, by denying them the full range of health care they deserve.
So while Planned Parenthood was telling its members and the media that the bill “provides survivors of human trafficking with immediate access to needed health care services,” NARAL was saying the exact opposite.