Senate Democrats finally caved and ended their filibuster of an anti-human trafficking bill, something they had been blocking for weeks because of a provision banning any of the money from going to abortions.
Pro-lifers are hailing this as a major victory, although, oddly, abortion forces are claiming at least a minor win, too.
At odds was language the Senate has consistently supported for 40 years–that taxpayer money not go to the performance of abortions, the so-called Hyde Amendment. The Senate Democrats had even voted in December in favor of what Senator Mitch McConnell called “boilerplate language.”
Pro-lifers were not surprised that pro-abortion groups and their supporters in the Senate would hold up a sex-trafficking bill over the question of abortion. Susan B. Anthony chief, Marjorie Danenfelser, blasted Senate Dems:
Pro-abortion Senators are filibustering legislation that would aid victims of human trafficking for one reason: It does not include federal funding of abortion on-demand. That’s right: Federal funding to abort babies is so important to Harry Reid and his pro-abortion colleagues that they’re even willing to throw victims of human trafficking under the bus.
“Remember, Planned Parenthood has been caught on video aiding and abetting in the alleged trafficking of minors. Victims of human trafficking need our help, not Big Abortion,” she said.
Senate Democrats voted five times to block the bill from advancing, even though it came out of committee on February 26 without opposition and came to floor without dissent on March 6. At that point, someone noticed that the legislation blocked funds from being used for abortion.
The Democrats’ hold on the trafficking bill caused Senate Republicans to hold off on a vote to replace exiting Attorney General Eric Holder with Loretta Lynch.
Politico published a long inside piece about how Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota caused the problem in the first place–or rather, one of her aides who did not catch the pro-life language. This caused not just a holdup of the bill, but behind the scenes sturm und drang, including shouting matches in the Democratic Caucus.
The fix announced this week would continue to block federal funding of abortions, and the revenue stream from a private account–a restitution fund from traffickers–though not blocked from funding abortions, may not be used for any medical procedure.
Pro-lifers consider this a clear win.
Follow Austin Ruse on Twitter @austinruse.