The following is a guest column written by PA State Representative Russ Diamond (R-Lebanon)
Just last month, a new Marist Poll was published that revealed an overwhelming majority of Americans oppose domestic taxpayer funding of abortion.
These opinions were found to cross party lines and coincide with a growing trend of Americans who have stopped identifying as “pro-choice,” as governors and other Democrat Party leaders have in recent months promoted the most radical of abortion scenarios, like late-term abortion.
However, it is more than being against abortion that has people revolted at the idea of taxpayer funding for abortion corporations. It is what happens at these clinics in addition to abortion that should raise red flags for anyone on the side of justice.
As January was National Human Trafficking Awareness Month, Gov. Tom Wolf signed legislation intended to curb the growing criminal enterprise of modern day slavery – human sex trafficking. Yet, he also bragged about his support of Planned Parenthood and unrestricted, unlimited access to abortion all during January in recognition of the almost 50-year anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
Human Trafficking and Abortion Clinics
The governor and his party have sadly become willfully ignorant of the well-documented link between human trafficking and abortion clinics. Studies and undercover investigations have shown that Planned Parenthood clinics have been complacent in sex trafficking and other sexual abuse crimes by not reporting to authorities what they were told by victims, even giving women and young girls birth control, providing them abortions without reporting the incidents as required by law, or advising them not to reach out to authorities.
According to a 2014 study by Loyola University Chicago’s Beazley Institute for Health and Law Policy, aside from emergency rooms, Planned Parenthood locations were the most-visited facilities by trafficking victims. The study revealed two-thirds of survivors had their abortions in clinics and 30% said they went to Planned Parenthood.
Among the 66 human trafficking survivors, they had a total of 114 abortions. One woman reported that the doctor who performed one of her abortions was a “client.”
I cannot fathom how utterly traumatic that must have been for her.
Most disturbingly, given what we now know about the human trafficking industry, it does not seem likely that she is the only person this has happened to. The human trafficking industry is now one of the largest criminal enterprises in the world, second only to drug trafficking.
Human Trafficking in Pennsylvania
In 2018, Pennsylvania ranked 10th in the country in reported human trafficking cases.
Harrisburg caseworkers told Fox43 News that the state Capitol, the home of the governor’s mansion, “is a hotspot for human trafficking.”
As the human trafficking industry rakes in $150 billion a year globally with the help of Planned Parenthood, which makes a $1.6 billion profit, the Trump Administration has taken numerous historic steps — including stopping the flow of taxpayer money through Title X funding to women’s health centers that perform abortions to curb this violence and protect mothers and their babies.
Meanwhile, our governor has proven to be one of the most extreme abortion supporting governors in the nation. This year, Wolf is seeking to create a backdoor in the state budget for Planned Parenthood to receive taxpayer dollars in light of the loss of federal funding.
Wolf has received millions in funding from Planned Parenthood for each of his election campaigns. Most recently in 2018, his re-election bid was one of the top races in the country that the corporation poured money into – a total of $2.5 million.
Knowing that Pennsylvania is now one of the leading states where human trafficking occurs, does putting a stop to the taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood truly, as the governor and now every Democrat presidential candidate has said, make it harder for women to make “deeply personal decisions”?
For human trafficking survivors, their abortions sound like anything but “personal” decisions. They are not making a free “choice” when they are at the mercy of violent traffickers.
Standing for the Right to Life
I believe as the many pro-life Americans in my district and across Pennsylvania do, and as President Trump stated at the March for Life, that “every child born and unborn” must be allowed to “fulfill their God-given potential.”
It is time for Pennsylvania to stand for women and their babies’ basic human right to life. We can help make this happen by preventing the flow of taxpayer dollars that continues this cycle of violence.
I will be fighting against this inappropriate use of your money as we begin budget negotiations with the governor, and I call on my colleagues to do the same.
Pennsylvania State Representative Russ Diamond represents the 102nd Legislative District.