Future victims left vulnerable
WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats admit they overlooked the anti-abortion clause in the anti-human trafficking bill. But they say Republicans should have told them about the controversial provision. Now they threaten to hold up the whole bill unless the clause is removed.
“What do you want me to tell you? We missed it!” Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) told Politico about why Democrats had not seen the language. “It was an obscure reference. Clearly if it had been front and center, we would have caught it.”
The clause is the so-called Hyde Amendment of 1977, which bars the use of federal funds for abortion except in limited circumstances. It was attached to the Innocent Victims of Trafficking Act (S. 178). The legislation would use fines from those prosecuted for sexual trafficking to help victims. Two weeks ago, senators predicted the legislation would sail through the 100-member upper chamber, but Democrats insist that the anti-abortion clause be stripped from the bill.
According to Fox News, Democrats said the provision was no routine amendment:
On Tuesday, the Senate is scheduled to vote on a cloture motion about the underlying bill. If 60 senators vote to end the filibuster, the Senate will vote on the legislation. But the body seems unlikely to do so. According to Fox News, Democrats said they lack the votes to remove the anti-abortion clause, but have enough votes to prevent passage of the legislation.