Some places are known for a particular industry. Wall Street? Finance. Hollywood? Movies. The Kandapara neighborhood in Bangladesh has a signature business too: prostitution.
Located in the city of Tangail, Kandapara is home to around nine hundred sex workers. Most start in their early teens as “bonded girls”–slaves who do what they’re told. While they can purchase their freedom (a process that takes years), many still choose to stay; lack of education and social stigma leave few alternatives.
While human trafficking isn’t as blatant in America, it still goes on. Traffickers often use threats of violence to keep their victims working. Another tool? Abortion.
In the video below, a trafficking survivor named Nicole describes being forced into two abortions, something she calls “the hardest.”
Coerced abortions may be hard to experience, but the abortion industry makes them easy to inflict. A 2014 study published in Annals of Health found that fifty five percent of the women surveyed had at least one abortion while being trafficked; some had over a dozen. They reported that staff were rarely concerned about whether those abortions were voluntary. As one survivor explained, “No one ever asked me anything anytime I ever went to a clinic.” That’s not surprising; after all, America’s largest abortion chain treats child rape victims the same way.
It’s how they treated Edgar Ramirez’s daughter. Ramirez took her to Planned Parenthood after getting her pregnant; staff didn’t call authorities despite the girl being thirteen and having two abortions in six months.
They weren’t concerned about Timothy Smith’s stepdaughter, either. Thanks to an abortion from Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, Smith managed to keep his crimes hidden and ongoing. While Colorado’s Office of Children, Youth, & Families says it’s cause for concern when a child under fourteen “becomes pregnant or contracts a venereal disease,” Planned Parenthood’s staff has other ideas. One admitted under oath that “being thirteen and pregnant alone is not a red flag” there.
Planned Parenthood ignored the abuse that Gary Cross, Luis Gonzalez-Jose, Andrew King, John Haller, Adam Gault, Grey David Woods, and Kevon Walker committed, too. In her lawsuit, Denise Fairbanks recalled explicitly telling staff how her father, John Blanks Jr., had raped her. Instead of calling the police, they performed an abortion and sent her back home. Planned Parenthood chose to settle.
In 2011, Live Action investigators saw that approach first hand. While posing as pimps, they caught a Planned Parenthood facility director offering to arrange abortions for child prostitutes who who “can’t speak English” and “won’t know what’s going on.”
Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood’s friends in the abortion lobby fight laws that would help protect women. Last year, NARAL Pro-Choice Texas said a bill requiring abortion centers to offer a private room with support information and a telephone to contact law enforcement was “not needed.”
Here’s what really isn’t needed: federal funding for Planned Parenthood. Tell Congress that Planned Parenthood’s half billion dollar subsidy to federally qualified health centers (FQHC) and community health centers (CHCs) instead. They provide affordable care to those in need–not abusers and pimps. While you’re at it, tell your state lawmaker to pass anti-coercion legislation as well.
Sadly, traffickers and rapists have plenty of tools at their disposal. Your tax dollars shouldn’t be among them.