Human Rights

The link between sex trafficking, abortion, and Planned Parenthood

sex trafficking, Planned Parenthood, Scotland

“At least one of my [six] abortions was from Planned Parenthood because they didn’t ask any questions.”

Those are the words of a sex trafficking survivor who took part in the study, “The Health Consequences of Sex Trafficking and Their Implications for Identifying Victims in Healthcare Facilities,” which found that 55% of sex trafficking victims in the study had obtained abortions. Thirty percent had undergone more than one abortion.

Americans have recently become much more aware of the prevalence of child sex trafficking amid the unraveling of the secrets of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell. But sex trafficking has been a profitable industry for decades, having a symbiotic relationship with the porn and abortion industries.

Sex trafficking, porn, and abortion

These three unethical and horrific industries are deeply entangled, each thriving off of the others. DKT International, which sells the abortion pill and owns the worldwide rights to sell manual vacuum aspiration kitsfought against a 2003 law requiring organizations funded by the U.S. to take an official position against sex trafficking. To do so could have hurt DKT’s business.

DKT International was founded by Philip Harvey, who has made millions of dollars selling pornographic films and sex toys through his company, Adam & Eve. Those films, according to a report by National Review, likely contain footage of sex trafficking victims forced to participate in pornography. DKT International receives 25% of the profits from Adam & Eve ($75 million in sales in 2019) and then in turn funds the overseas birth control and abortion industry. Harvey sits on the board of the UK-based Marie Stopes International, one of the largest abortion chains in the world.

Meanwhile, sex trafficking victims are frequently forced to undergo multiple abortions to be able to continue ‘working.’ Abortionists are, therefore, making money off of sex trafficking.

“The prevalence of forced abortions is an especially disturbing trend in sex trafficking,” wrote study authors Laura J. Lederer and Christopher A. Wetzel. “One victim noted that ‘in most of [my six abortions,] I was under serious pressure from my pimps to abort the babies.’ Another survivor, whose abuse at the hands of her traffickers was particularly brutal, reported 17 abortions and indicated that at least some of them were forced on her.”

READ: To help prevent human trafficking, hold Planned Parenthood accountable

Despite clear signs of abuse, abortion businesses frequently fail to report these instances to authorities, though they are mandated to do so. Instead, they collect money for abortions and return victims to their traffickers and abusers.

“The abortion industry is profiting tremendously [from sex trafficking] …financially,” explained Nita Belles, regional director for Oregonians Against Trafficking Humans.

It’s a cruel, inhumane, brutal circle in which Planned Parenthood can often be found at the center.

Planned Parenthood’s role in sex trafficking

“Survivors [of human trafficking] also had significant contact with clinical treatment facilities, most commonly Planned Parenthood clinics, which more than a quarter of survivors (29.6%) visited,” reported Lederer, former senior advisor for trafficking in person for the U.S. Department of State. “… Since pimps and traffickers generally exercise nearly complete control of their victims, these points of contact with healthcare represent rare opportunities for victim identification and intervention.” 

One victim who took part in the study explained that no one at any clinic she ever visited, including Planned Parenthood, ever asked her questions about her situation. “No one ever asked me anything anytime I ever went to a clinic. … I was on birth control during the 10 years I was on the streets – mostly Depo-Provera shots [which increase women’s risk of contracting HIV by 40%] which I got at the Planned Parenthood and other neighborhood clinics. I also got the morning-after pill from them. I was young and so I had to have a waiver signed in order to get these.”



That waiver, it turns out, could be signed by the victims’ abusers — as was revealed during Live Action’s Aiding Abusers investigation into Planned Parenthood’s willingness aid abusers and traffickers, and cover up sexual abuse.

In 2011, Live Action investigators posed as a pimp and one of his prostitutes seeking a place that would handle STI treatments for his sex trafficking victims — some as young as 14. Planned Parenthood employees at seven facilities across the nation actually worked to help the “sex traffickers” by telling them how to get victims tested, the best way to skirt the laws to get abortions for them, and how to lie on paperwork about the ages of the girls so Planned Parenthood could avoid mandated reporting laws. One Planned Parenthood staffer even encouraged the “pimp” to sign the paperwork as the girls’ guardian.

Planned Parenthood manager Amy Woodruff worked at the facility in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, and was videotaped coaching the “sex traffickers” on where to get abortions for underage girls

WOODRUFF: You never got this from me, just to make all of our lives easier.


WOODRUFF: If they’re 14 and under…

PIMP: Yeah, yeah.

WOODRUFF: [circles clinic paper] … just send ‘em right there if they need an abortion. OK? [Laughter].

WOODRUFF: … Here’s the thing too. If they’re minors, just tell them to put down that they’re students.

PIMP: Students?

WOODRUFF: Yeah, just kind of play along that they’re students. We want to make it look as legit as possible…

While these “sex traffickers” were actually undercover investigators, their experience supports what trafficking victims are saying. One trafficking victim said in an interview that she was “trusted” by her pimp and was given the task of scheduling abortions for the other girls. “The pimps and the traffickers would get fake I.D.’s for the girls and we would take them to have abortions,” she explained.

READ: New documentary shines light on connection between sex trafficking and abortion

She added that abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood would commit the abortions without question. “[H]onestly they had to know that these were teenagers,” she said, “they were not adult women.”

After Live Action’s Aiding Abusers investigation was released, Planned Parenthood quickly fired the staffers caught aiding the “sex traffickers” and even announced they would be retraining their staff to spot abuse. This was false.

According to former Planned Parenthood manager Ramona Trevino, who was present for one of these retraining sessions, she and her fellow staffers were taught how to spot undercover investigators and determine whether or not they were being recorded — not how to identify trafficking victims.

As more information comes to light about sex trafficking in the U.S., those who have covered it up for decades, like Planned Parenthood, must be held responsible for aiding the abuse of thousands of children and women.

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