Provision harmful to women's health should be removed from human trafficking bill

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March 11, 2015

Media Contact: 

Jean Gazis (, 212-413-7558

Lisalyn R. Jacobs (, 202-326-0042

(New York, NY) Today, Legal Momentum, the Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund, urged that a provision harmful to women's health be removed from a human trafficking bill being considered by the Senate, the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 (S. 178).  

"The intent of this bill—to support survivors of trafficking—will be subverted if the provision is left intact. Human trafficking survivors—survivors of the worst kind of exploitation, which our government has called ‘modern slavery’—who were raped and became pregnant should have access to the full spectrum of health services, including abortion,” said Legal Momentum’s President and CEO, Carol Robles-Román.

Legal Momentum fully supports the aims of the bill without the troubling provisions. The bill would enhance services for runaway and homeless victims of youth trafficking, improve the response to victims of child sex trafficking, and establish an interagency task force to monitor and combat trafficking. Harmful provisions that deny health care to victims, restrict women’s health options, are harmful to immigrants, or fail to adequately protect the LGBT community, should be removed so that the bill can help victims of one of the most heinous crimes, human trafficking, which has been condemned by the whole world. We urge all senators to vote for the Leahy Comprehensive Substitute Amendment, which adheres to the bi-partisan compromises made when the JVTA was reported out of the Judiciary Committee.


About Legal Momentum

Legal Momentum is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1970 to advance the rights of women by using the power of the law and creating innovative public policy in three broad areas: economic justice, freedom from gender-based violence and equality under the law. Successful initiatives include judicial education programs on the realities of sexual assault, domestic violence, and their intersection; successful advocacy for the Violence Against Women Act and for expanded protections for Native American and other survivors of violence in its 2013 reauthorization; and representing women who have been subjected to workplace discrimination with precedent-setting litigation. For more information visit