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Sex Trafficking Victims Doubly Harmed by Forced Abortions

By March 18, 2015Uncategorized
This post was originally published by Regent Law Professor Lynne Marie Kohm, on her Family Restoration blog.
By its very nature the crime of human trafficking not only rips women and children from their families but also works to strip each victim of his or her humanity. It also destroys families.
A recent study reported on by Genevieve Plaster at revealed that 55% of sex trafficking victims become pregnant and are forced into abortions. She writes, “Sex trafficking in particular, which is categorized by law as a ‘severe form’ of human trafficking, rebrands the person as a product to be bought and sold for pleasure. In the United States alone, the Central Intelligence Agency estimates that around 50,000 women and children are trafficked into the United States and as many as 400,000 domestic minors are also involved in the trade each year. These alarming figures testify to the firm foothold that this hidden criminal activity has in the United States.”
When the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee held a hearing in the fall of 2014 on a bill highlighting the importance of healthcare professionals in their role on the front lines of identifying victims of trafficking and responding appropriately, the Trafficking Awareness Training for Health Care Act of 2014 was introduced by North Carolina Rep. Renee Ellmers (R). The law’s objective was to provide proper training for these professionals to allow them to recognize indicators of trafficking and offer help.
Former Senior Advisor on Trafficking in Persons for the U.S. Department of State and founder of the non-profit Global Centurion, Laura Lederer was one of five witnesses who testified, Plaster reported. “According to Dr. Lederer’s recent study entitled, The Health Consequences of Sex Trafficking and Their Implications for Identifying Victims in Healthcare Facilities, out of the 107 sex trafficking survivors surveyed, 87.7% reported seeking care from a healthcare professional during the time of trafficking. More specifically, the most common point of contact occurred in the emergency room with 63% of victims seeking care there. These new findings – in contrast with the much lower overall 28% figure found in a 2005 study cited in the Hearing Memo – emphasize the significant role that a healthcare provider can play in preventing further abuse.”
The fastest growing industry in the world is human trafficking, or trafficking in persons (TIP), and it refers to the activity of holding a person in a compelled service, and is a crime under U.S. and international law. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) defines sex trafficking in particular as “the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act.” This industry generates about $32 billion each year.
Two states are actively working to end human trafficking in their jurisdictions, New York and Ohio, and each has relied on the research of Prof. Tessa Dysart on the victimization of children in human trafficking.  Furthermore, Professor Kathleen McKee and I have published a piece that details how human trafficking is connected with population policies that promote abortion and sterilization.
Accurately referred to as “modern- day slavery,” human sex trafficking destroys individuals and families, and unborn victims alike. It is a tragedy that cannot be allowed to stand. If you’d like to do something about it, contact Regent Law’s Center for Global Justice, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law at and get involved in ending the scourge of human trafficking and its destruction of individuals and families.