What does music by Lil Wayne, Def Leppard, and Britney Spears have in common? It’s easy to strip to.
The folks at WatchMojo.com think so, anyway. They’ve made a list of classic stripper anthems, and it features songs from all three artists. But while Lil Wayne raps about lollipops and Def Leppard asks for some sugar, Spears has a different focus: slavery. “I’m a slave for you,” she sings in the chorus. For some dancers, that line is all too true.
Human trafficking is a global plague, but the victims aren’t just overseas. According to the Justice Department, many are right here in America. They might be at your local strip club.
While some club owners have joined anti-trafficking groups and claim to co-operate with authorities, strip clubs are still a magnet for trafficking. And although they aren’t the only places traffickers operate, the establishments can be attractive venues. As the National Human Trafficking Resource explains, strip clubs “provide the space and environment in which buyers may purchase commercial sex.”
The connection between stripping and trafficking is part of why CBS won praise for rejecting five million dollars worth of advertising from a major club. However, trafficking victims don’t just turn up at strip clubs; there’s another industry that their captors depend on, and you’re subsidizing it.
Traffickers see women and girls as a revenue source, so pregnancy is a problem. To keep the cash moving, many traffickers force their victims to abort. In a video put out by the group A21 Campaign, a former victim talks about being forced into two abortions, something she calls “the hardest.”
How often do coerced abortions happen? Former State Department advisor and anti-trafficking activist Laura Lederer testified before a a House Subcommittee about that. In 2014, Lederer told lawmakers that fifty five percent of the women she interviewed for a study reported having at least one abortion, and about half of those said they had been coerced.
Former victim Vednita Carter also testified. She recalled being forced into six abortions, with the lack of follow up care leading to infections. Her experience wasn’t unique.
Steven Wagner, a former director of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Human Trafficking Program, has discussed how victims are often put right back to work following an abortion, something he says “might very well be a death sentence.”
So, where would you find people who are willing to be a part of that? Live Action found some at Planned Parenthood.
In 2011, Live Action investigators took hidden cameras to multiple Planned Parenthood centers while posing as traffickers. In Perth Amboy, NJ, clinic director Amy Woodruff was ready to lend a hand, saying, “If they’re 14 and under, just send them right there if they need an abortion, OK?” That they didn’t “speak English” or “know what’s going on” wasn’t a concern.
It’s not surprising that Planned Parenthood would help professional abusers–they’ve been helping amateurs for years.
They helped Timothy Smith when he brought his 13 year-old victim to a Colorado center. You might think seeing a girl who was pregnant and well below the age of consent would be a reason to call the authorities, but staff there felt otherwise. One later admitted that “being thirteen and pregnant alone is not a red flag.”
Thanks to the abortion Planned Parenthood performed, Smith was able to stay out of jail and keep abusing his victim. Denise Fairbanks’s father got similar assistance. So did Luis Gonzalez-Jose, Gary Cross, John Blanks, Jr., Adam Gault, Joseph Coles, Tyler Kost, Kevon Walker, Edgar Ramirez, and Grey David Woods. Keep in mind, these are just some of the ones who actually got caught.
Planned Parenthood is America’s largest abortion chain, performing over three hundred thousand every year. How many of them are coerced? I don’t know. However, I do know how many coerced abortions were done at federally qualified health centers (FQHCs).
Across the country, more than thirteen thousand FQHCs furnish care to those with limited means. And the services they provide are more comprehensive than what Planned Parenthood has to offer: whereas FQHCs performed over five hundred thousand mammograms in 2014, Planned Parenthood did none.
If you don’t think taxpayers should be enabling predators and pimps, then tell Congress you want Planned Parenthood’s half billion dollar subsidy sent to FQHCs instead. Because the fact is, we should be providing help to vulnerable people–not those who exploit them.