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Peace & Life Connections #260
May 15, 2015

Bill Against Sex Trafficking Passes U.S. Congress
        We mentioned several weeks ago that a bill to prevent sex trafficking and aid its victims was being held up due to a conflict on abortion funding – see again Rachel Peller’s excellent letter on the abortion connections, and the Quotation of the Week below. Compromise was reached and the bill has now passed.
         The original dispute was that if the Hyde amendment banning abortion funding were applied to the money collected from fines from the sex traffickers, this expanded the Hyde amendment beyond taxpayers. Since it’s still money over which the government and not private individuals have control, pro-lifers didn’t see the difference. The new deal is that the money from fines helps victims in legal aid, law enforcement, and services that don’t involve medical care. The money for medical care comes through community health services, already covered under the Hyde amendment. So none of the money goes for abortion, but the money from fines isn’t actually restricted from going there – it’s just than none goes there because it covers other kinds of services.
        How abortion availability assists sex traffickers in getting away with their crimes in the first place is never addressed at all.
Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act
260 baby        Continuing with what the U.S. Congress is up to, the House of Representatives on May 13 passed a bill stopping abortions after 20 weeks with the usual exceptions. It’s unlikely to get further, but this is more progress than we usually make against massive violence in Congress, which is well-practiced in using euphemisms to avoid the reality of how cruel violence is, especially in war. The “pain-capable” part didn’t faze those accustomed to pretending no brutality is involved (and ignoring that decisions “between a woman and her doctor” doesn’t apply since late-term abortion doctors are strangers to the woman).
        Some connections:
  • A common reason for aborting so late is that the baby is discovered to have a disability. This lethal discrimination against people with disabilities has a detrimental impact on all people with disabilities.
  • Another reason is the gender is found and decided to be unsuitable – mostly, girls are killed for being girls.
  • A common reason for delay is that the mother is ambivalent about having an abortion, or positively doesn’t want one. She’s hiding the pregnancy, hoping  the people who would pressure her won’t be able to until it’s “too late.” The availability of late-term abortions removes this escape valve.
News from Our Endorsers
        Mike Walli attended our 25th anniversary conference and was one of the Transform Now Plowshares activists. They were given hefty sentences, but an appeals court on May 8 vacated the charge of sabotage. The remaining charge is lighter and they may have already served enough time in prison for it. 
people - Prejean

            Sr. Helen Prejean was covered by CNN for testifying at the sentencing hearing of the Boston Marathon bomber after visiting him, making her normal witness against the death penalty.

Quotation of the Week
Stephen Wagner
former director of the Human Trafficking Program 
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
November 29, 2011
        The mortality rate for someone in commercial sexual exploitation is 40 times higher than for a non-exploited person of the same age.  Helping a victim return to exploitation more quickly by terminating a pregnancy increases the odds of death.
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