“Help is finally on the way for the thousands of enslaved victims who suffer unspeakable abuse in the shadows,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act boosts law enforcement’s ability to pursue perpetrators, strengthens penalties, and establishes a domestic fund to help trafficking victims. The legislation was widely popular, but it only passed after an unexpected month-long stalemate between Republicans and Democrats.
Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, a primary sponsor of the trafficking bill, worked with Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., to forge a compromise that saved face for Democrats but ultimately didn’t allow taxpayer funds to pay for abortions.
Pro-life groups applauded the Republican stand and pointed to the battle as evidence Congress needs to make permanent the prohibition on taxpayer-backed abortions.
Last year, a Government Accountability Office report found more than 1,000 healthcare plans available on Obamacare exchanges included abortion coverage—in most cases paid for by taxpayer subsidies.