Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Sunday 26 September |
Saint of the Day: Sts Cosmas and Damian
home iconNews
line break icon

Here’s How One Senator Cut a Deal Over Abortion that Paves Way for Anti-Trafficking Bill


Mark Stricherz - published on 04/21/15 - updated on 06/08/17

Sen. Klobuchar's idea appeased both pro-life and pro-choice camps

Senate leaders reached an informal deal over abortion funding that paves the way for legislation to combat human trafficking and approve Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch. The Senate has been ensnared in the dispute over the extension of the so-called Hyde Amendment since late March. Now it is expected to vote on the underlying bill and Lynch’s nomination this week, according to media reports.

CNN described the agreement over the abortion-restricting funding this way:

The deal is essentially a cosmetic fix that lets both parties claim a win. It allows Republicans to say they’ve won their battle against funding abortions with government money, and Democrats to say they’ve avoided expanding the Hyde Amendment.

According to sources in both parties, the Murray-Cornyn deal pools two sources of funding to support victims of human trafficking, and each is subject to distinct restrictions.

One funding stream, from fines levied against sex traffickers, could be used for survivor services that do not include health care or medical services, like legal aid and law enforcement. That effectively bars the money from being used to fund abortions, but does not technically include the Hyde Amendment.

The latter funding stream, which comes from community health center funds included in the doc-fix bill President Barack Obama signed into law this week, is already subject to the Hyde Amendment. …

The deal was a rare legislative compromise on abortion that drew praise from both sides of the debate.

Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, used the announcement of the deal to praise Reid and Murray for preventing expansion of the Hyde Amendment.

"Thankfully, Sens. Reid and Murray and other women’s health champions held the line and today’s agreement prevents Hyde from being extended even further into other funding streams, and provides survivors of human trafficking with immediate access to needed health care services," Richards said in a statement.

And Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List, said the group is "pleased" with the proposal.

"This deal ensures no money in the fund is used for abortion and that any funding for health services is subject to the longstanding Hyde amendment. It ensures taxpayers will not be in a position of facilitating human trafficking by keeping victims on the street," she said.

A leading Democratic senator took credit for coming up with a solution to the impasse, according to The Washington Times:

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota Democrat, said the two-fund solution came to her while she was traveling through a cornfield during the Senate’s spring break this month. She said she met little resistance as she shopped the idea to colleagues in a series of personal phone calls.

“I just knew it had a chance, because no one ever said it was impossible to do,” Ms. Klobuchar said outside the Senate chamber.

Planned Parenthood Action Fund, a pro-choice group, applauded the breakthrough, saying key Democrats “held the line” against an expansion of Hyde restrictions, while other pro-choice groups bemoaned the fact that Hyde language remained in the bill.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, boasted that he forced Republicans to back off their more expansive abortion restrictions, which he called a “pointless, contrived fight,” clearing the way for the deal.

AbortionHuman TraffickingPolitics
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
J-P Mauro
Chicago architect models Vatican City from 67,000 LEGO bricks
Philip Kosloski
Why J.R.R. Tolkien loved to attend daily Mass
Cecilia Pigg
7 Ways the saints can help you sleep better at night
The Sinai Peninsula and the Dead Sea Rift
J-P Mauro
Experts now believe Sodom was destroyed by a meteor
Bret Thoman, OFS
Exclusive photos: Meet Padre Pio and the place he lived
Philip Kosloski
How Our Lady saved Padre Pio from a violent demonic attack
Cerith Gardiner
9 Padre Pio quotes for when you’re feeling scared or uncertain
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.