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April 21, 2015 / Press Releases

NARAL Pro-Choice America Statement on the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act

April 21, 2015

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. Sadly this bill is now another example in the long series of premeditated, coordinated and sustained attacks on women’s health care, advancing the far-right wing goal of banning abortion altogether.

A compromise was reportedly reached to deny expansion of the unjust Hyde amendment to a private fund for the first time, yet the fact that anti-choice Republicans even chose to pick this fight is abhorrent. Their goal was to expand the Hyde amendment, but because of a few pro-choice legislators and hundreds of thousands of activists that fought against their legislative aggression, anti-choice Republicans will be denied an expansion of the Hyde amendment.

While this is a stunning loss that should serve as a strong lesson to the anti-choice zealots who repeatedly attach unjust abortion regulations to any legislation concerning women’s health, today’s tragic loss is for human and sex trafficking victims—women and girls—who will regrettably be denied full reproductive health care access as a result of today’s compromise.

We greatly appreciate the work of Sens. Murray, Reid and others in standing up for victims of trafficking, and we look forward to the day that these bills will allow all women control over their own bodies and their own destiny.”

During the Trafficking debate and Senate recess, NARAL Pro-Choice America organized our members and harnessed outrage from across the pro-choice community:

  • Conducted state-specific polling and released state-wide TV and digital ads in Illinois, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Wisconsin,
  • The poll found:
    • A majority (60-75%) of voters will be less likely to vote for their senator if the senator votes in favor of the provision restricting access to abortions for victims of human trafficking.
    • Focusing on restricting abortion within the context of a bill about human trafficking is broadly unpopular.
    • A clear majority (70-80%) of voters in these states support legal abortion.
    • In conjunction with CREDO Action and Planned Parenthood Action Fund, NARAL Pro- Choice America delivered over 220,000 petitions in Illinois, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Washington, D.C.
    • Hundreds of Letters to the Editor were submitted across the country.
    • Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, penned an opinion piece for MSNBC, which can be found here.
NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all Americans. NARAL works to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as “one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America.”


Everyone should be able to decide if, when, how, and with whom they start or grow a family.

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