Researchers concerned with the growing criminal industry of sex trafficking released a study showing the devastating connection between sex trafficking and forced abortion. The study, entitled The Health Consequences of Sex Trafficking and Their Implications for Identifying Victims in Healthcare Facilities examined the experience of more than one hundred domestic trafficking victims and survivors. The results are sobering. Survivors described years of enslavement in inhumane conditions of physical and emotional abuse. Finding and assisting victims of sex trafficking is a growing concern, as the illegal industry is growing, generating an estimated $33.9 billion per year worldwide.
Researchers focused on the various healthcare facilities sex trafficking victims came into contact with while they were enslaved. One survivor noted, “During the time I was on the street, I went to hospitals, urgent care clinics, women’s health clinics, and private doctors. No one ever asked me anything anytime I ever went to a clinic.” Many victims echoed this experience and described routinely going to places like Planned Parenthood for birth control. Researchers stated the healthcare facilities “are seeing trafficking victims but failing to identify them, thereby unwittingly contributing to continuing criminal activity and exacerbating both public and private physical and mental health problems.” Even more troubling is the shocking prevalence of forced abortions among victims. Women and underage girls who are trafficked go to abortion businesses around the country, often under extreme coercion by traffickers. Survivors describe undergoing as many as six or even 17 abortions, some or all against their will.
These latest findings are particularly disturbing in light of undercover investigations of abortion mills across the country. Not only did abortion workers ignore and fail to report blatant instances of sex trafficking, they actively aided the perpetrators. Planned Parenthood employees, for example, were caught advising undercover investigators posing as pimps about how to avoid suspicion. The shocking behavior, including telling sex slaves who are minors to lie about their age in order to avoid mandatory reporting requirements, led to the firing of the Planned Parenthood employees caught on tape. However, there is no way of knowing if these abuses are in fact common occurrences in the abortion industry.
Although Planned Parenthood claims the investigation led to training thousands of employees to identify sex traffickers, follow up investigation by Live Action shows the abortion business instead spent time training employees how to identify undercover journalists. Disturbingly, the abortion business’s only concern appears to be avoiding another embarrassing exposé video about abuses by employees. There is no indication America’s largest abortion chain adequately trains employees to identify and assist abused children. Additionally, public records requests indicate that Planned Parenthood’s claim that following the investigation workers reported suspected sex traffickers to authorities is also false.
Live Action is not the only Pro-Life organization to make discoveries of cover-ups, abuse, and failures to report in the abortion industry. Life Dynamics launched a website dedicated to tracking instances in which minor girls were raped by adults and were subsequently subjected to forced abortion. The report by Life Dynamics shows that time and again, the abuse was not reported to the proper authorities and young girls were returned to their abusers. Sadly, in many of the cases, sexual abuse continued for months or years after the first abortion, sometimes even including more forced abortions. The girls are only given help when an adult outside the abortion industry becomes aware of the abuse and reports the crime.
As these tragic investigations and the study of sex trafficking victims underscore, the abortion industry is guilty of aiding people who sexually abuse minors. For the abortion industry, ignoring the abuse and taking payment for the forced abortion is far easier and more profitable than reporting the crimes. As Care Net notes, only when someone who does not stand to profit from the abuse becomes involved can victims of sex trafficking hope to find help. In order to confront the inhumanity of the growing sex trafficking industry, we must hold the abortion industry accountable for their role in harming the victims.