Editorials: ‘Democrats, Swallow Your Pride’

‘Apparently, The Issue Of Funding Abortions Has Higher Priority Among Some Congressional Democrats Than The Horrible Epidemic Of Children Being Trafficked’


‘Democrats Should Stop Blocking The Human Trafficking Bill In A Fight They Lost Decades Ago’

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: “Democrats, swallow your pride. Vote to move forward with the human trafficking bill. … And Democrats can resolve never again to vote for a bill they haven't read.” (Editorial, Chicago Tribune, 3/17/15)

  • TRIBUNE: “The Hyde Amendment, which has been part of federal law since 1976 and mostly affects Medicaid recipients, says federal dollars can be used to pay for abortions only in cases of rape, incest and danger to the mother's life. The language in this bill is meant not to expand the scope of that policy but to keep it from being circumvented in this legislation. Democrats are unhappy because the restriction is in and they lack the votes to remove it on the floor. Nor do they want to go on the record against a bill aimed at combating the evils of human trafficking. So they are blocking a vote -- yes, blocking a law to combat human trafficking -- in hopes that they can get their way.” (Editorial, Chicago Tribune, 3/17/15)

CORPUS CHRISTI CALLER-TIMES: There are “battles worth fighting in defense of women’s right to choose. The same cannot be said for the effort to defeat U.S. Sen. John Cornyn’s anti-human trafficking bill because of an abortion provision that has been a federal standard for nearly 40 years. Cornyn’s bill is a step forward, not backward, in advocacy for women.” (Editorial, Corpus Christi Caller-Times, 3/17/15)

DAILY NEWS [Bowling Green, KY]: “One would think that all 100 senators would get behind this common-sense bill, but apparently some Democrats are fighting it because it would prohibit money from the Domestic Trafficking Victims’ Fund from being used to pay for abortions. Apparently, the issue of funding abortions has higher priority among some congressional Democrats than the horrible epidemic of children being trafficked into sex daily? That is truly sad. … Partisan politics and pandering to special interests shouldn’t even come into play here. Human trafficking must be dealt with, and this legislation is a wonderful starting point. We hope Democrats who say they can’t support it will change their minds and vote in favor of this to help fight this growing and unfortunate epidemic.” (Editorial, Daily News [Bowling Green, KY], 3/16/15)

BALTIMORE SUN: “Senate Democrats chose an odd time to make a stand over the abortion restrictions, given that they were approved unanimously in committee. They didn't notice them until abortion rights advocates like the NARAL Pro-Choice America took a stand? That suggests they either don't read the bills and amendments carefully enough or suffered a sudden change of heart at the behest of a special interest group. Either way, it's not exactly a leadership moment.” (Editorial, The Baltimore Sun, 3/16/15)

  • SUN: “Republicans argue that the measure simply extends the provisions of the so-called Hyde amendment that forbids federal tax dollars from being spent on abortions unless it involves rape or incest or the mother's life is in danger. …they do have a point. The Hyde amendment has been in place for four decades, and it's not exactly shocking that conservatives would expect it to be applied…” (Editorial, The Baltimore Sun, 3/16/15)
  • SUN: “…Senate Democrats can't allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good — the legislation provides law enforcement across the country additional resources to combat human trafficking and collects funds to compensate victims. To this point, it has had strong bipartisan support. The Democrats don't have the numbers to remove the offending provisions, only to filibuster the bill. This is not some minor concern. What we refer to as human trafficking is simply a modern incarnation of slavery. Its victims, often children, are frequently forced into sexual service, domestic servitude, or farm or other commercial labor against their will for years at a time. In the U.S. alone, it's practitioners have earned billions of dollars using violence, threats or other forms of manipulation on their victims.” (Editorial, The Baltimore Sun, 3/16/15)

TULSA WORLD: “Democrats should stop blocking the human trafficking bill in a fight they lost decades ago…” (Editorial, Tulsa World, 3/18/15)

  • WORLD: “Such Hyde Amendment language has been attached to many bills for the past 39 years and shouldn’t be an issue at this point. Democrats don’t have enough votes to remove the language or defeat the bill, but they do have enough votes to lock up the process, and, for political reasons, they are. The result: Stalemate.” (Editorial, Tulsa World, 3/18/15)

WASHINGTON POST: “It is estimated that 100,000 children each year are trafficked for sex in the United States. Lax laws and modern technology enable the predators, while their young victims often are treated like criminals instead of getting the help they need. Congress last week seemed poised to do something about this. Then politics intervened. This week the question will be whether senators can put the interests of scared, abused children ahead of the chance to score political points.” (Editorial, The Washington Post, 3/16/15)

  • POST: “…[Hyde Amendment language] was in the bill when it was released in January, it was there when the bill was marked up in committee and it was there when the 68-page bill was unanimously passed; Democrats have only themselves to blame if they overlooked it. Far more significant, though, is whether the provision justifies the defeat of this important legislation. … True, the money in question would come from fines and not federal taxpayer dollars, but since the fund would be a federal creation, is that such a stretch? Also true, this anti-abortion provision would be in effect for five years, while the Hyde Act must be reauthorized annually. But since the Hyde Act has been in force for four decades, the practical difference again is slight.” (Editorial, The Washington Post, 3/16/15)
  • POST: “The question is whether the senators who want to accomplish something can overcome the advocacy groups and politicians who would rather use this controversy as one more opportunity to raise funds and sharpen divisions.” (Editorial, The Washington Post, 3/16/15)



Related Issues: Senate Democrats, Defending Life, Combating Sex Trafficking