Abortion Trafficking of Unaccompanied Minors Brought Across the Border

News: Commentary
by Sheena Rodriguez  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  September 6, 2023   

The inextricable link between sex trafficking & abortions and what you can do to combat it

You are not signed in as a Premium user; you are viewing the free version of this program. Premium users have access to full-length programs with limited commercials and receive a 10% discount in the store! Sign up for only one day for the low cost of $1.99. Click the button below.

Sex trafficking and abortions are inextricably linked. For years, it has been documented that abortions are utilized as a tool by abusers and traffickers to further exploit women and young girls. Sex trafficking and sexual abuse of children are rampant in the United States.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a stark increase in reported trafficking cases across the United States. As previously noted, in 2022, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children cited more than 19,000 reports of possible child sex trafficking cases. At a time when reported trafficking cases continue to spike across the country, the United States continues to endure an unprecedented border crisis, luring a staggering population of unaccompanied alien children into the country.

The number of unaccompanied minors arriving at the U.S. border continues to climb at an alarming rate. From Fiscal Year 2015 to July 2023, more than 570,000 unaccompanied minors have been released to sponsors in the United States. Nearly 57% of children in almost a decade have been absorbed since the Biden administration took office. While the country contends with the ongoing rising plague of sexual exploitation and trafficking of children, the current administration is simultaneously flooding the United States with more vulnerable children.

In 2014, the Loyola University Beazley School of Law conducted a study of female sex trafficking survivors, noting that "the prevalence of forced abortions is an especially disturbing trend in sex trafficking." The study found that more than half of the victims reported undergoing at least one abortion, with nearly 30% reporting multiple abortions. More than half of the victims who reported having abortions while being trafficked stated the procedures were forced by the pimps or abusers.

According to the study, nearly 90% of the sex trafficking victims received medical treatment. Hospitals and healthcare clinics were the most reported as treatment locations. More than 67% of abortions were performed at clinics such as Planned Parenthood. Many of the victims claimed Planned Parenthood was known for not asking questions and was the most reported clinic utilized for abortions by the victims. 

One survivor notes: 

I got pregnant six times and had six abortions during this time. Several of them were from a doctor who was a client. He did them "back door." I came in the back door after hours and paid him off the books. This kept my name off any records. ... At least one of my abortions was from Planned Parenthood because they didn't ask any questions. (Lederer, L. & Wetzel, C., 2014, p. 79, NOTE: According to the study, the abortions of this victim were arranged by a series of sex traffickers, not by the victim herself.)

Despite the known and documented correlation between sex trafficking and abortions, the current administration continues to advocate and prioritize abortions for unaccompanied minors while in federal custody.

The unaccompanied minors population traveling from various countries to the United States alone are particularly vulnerable to exploitation, rape, abuse, death and being forced into sex trafficking rings. According to a presentation by the UC Berkeley School of Health, an estimated 60–80% of girls endure sexual assault en route to the United States while traveling unaccompanied.

Yet instead of addressing the root causes of the abuse, such as the incentivizing policies acting as a magnetic pull and subsequently driving the number of UACs to the United States at a continuously increasing rate, the solution by many anti-life groups is to expand rapid access to abortion for these vulnerable children utilizing federal resources.

In October 2021 (revised November 2022, still listed as active according to ORR), the Office of Refugee Resettlement, tasked with caring for UACs, released Field Guidance 21. According to the guidance, "ORR staff and care providers must not prevent UC from accessing legal abortion-related services and that ORR staff and care providers must make all reasonable efforts to facilitate access to these services if requested by the UC." 

Despite several states, including Texas, strictly limiting abortions, to accomplish this goal of abortion access to UACs, the field guidance proposed abortion trafficking, or transporting a woman or young girl across state lines for the purposes of having an abortion, by further stating, "This may involve transporting a minor to a state in which abortion is lawful and available if the minor is currently in a state in which abortion is not lawful or available."

According to ORR's Field Guidance 21, parental or sponsor consent is not required, and in many cases, ORR staff is prohibited from discussing a UAC's pregnancy or abortion:  

In general, ORR federal staff and care providers must not communicate information about a UC's pregnancy (including the fact of the pregnancy) or UC's decision on whether to have an abortion (before or after the abortion) to individuals other than ORR federal staff and care providers directly involved in the UC's case. (November 10, 2022, Field Guidance 21.)

Although the Hyde Amendment prohibits the use of federal funding for abortions, ORR's September 2020 policy memorandum refers to the broad range of exempted situations such as rape, incest, physical disorders, injuries or illnesses by which an abortion on an unaccompanied minor would be exempt.

In other words, in Texas, where the overwhelming number of encounters with UACs occur, despite the overturning of Roe v. Wade and the passage of the Heartbeat Bill and other pro-life legislation, federal agencies are transporting vulnerable unaccompanied minors across Texas state lines for the purposes of an abortion with the use of taxpayer funds.

Mark Lee Dickson

To address the growing concern of abortion trafficking facilitated and encouraged by anti-life advocacy groups along with the Biden Administration, Mark Lee Dickson, with Right to Life East Texas and founder of the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn, has expanded proposed ordinances to cities and counties across Texas. Given the overwhelming concerns of further exploitation, along with additional physical, mental and emotional harm caused by abortions to not only unaccompanied minors but all women and child victims of sexual abuse and sex trafficking, Alliance for a Safe Texas was excited for the opportunity to support the ordinance.

Over the last few weeks, AST has supported the presentation and consideration of the ordinances in Mason County, the city of Llano and Goliad County, where the rule was unanimously passed. Goliad County was the second county in Texas where the Sanctuary for the Unborn ordinance with provisions for abortion trafficking was passed. As a result, it is now illegal for abortion trafficking to occur on the unincorporated roadways of Goliad County. Two cities in Texas have also passed the abortion tracking ordinances, Odessa and Little River-Academy.

(left) Mason County Commissioners Court, (right) Outside the city council meeting in Llano, TX.

Private citizens could now sue sex traffickers and abusers of women and young girls for traveling through the applicable routes to transport for abortion services. This historic ordinance is a bold stance by Goliad county commissioners, sending the strong message that exploitation, further abuse and the stopping of innocent beating hearts of unborn babies are not welcomed in the county.

Mark Lee Dickson commented about the passage of his organization's ordinance in Goliad County:

The abortion trafficking provision, which only applies if the transportation of such an individual "begins, ends or passes through the unincorporated area of Goliad County," makes it illegal for anyone to use the sections of Hwy 59, Hwy 183, Hwy 239, Hwy 119 and all sections of all other roads found in the unincorporated area of Goliad County for the purpose of abortion trafficking.

This means that people who live within Goliad County will not be allowed to drive people out of Goliad County who are seeking to obtain an elective abortion in another state — as such actions would be considered abortion trafficking.

This provision also means that those who are transporting women from other parts of Texas, who are seeking to obtain an elective abortion in another state, cannot pass through Goliad County — as those actions would also be considered abortion trafficking. The ordinance, which is purely enforced by the creation of a private right of action, allows for any person (except for Goliad County or their employees) to bring a civil action against any person or entity that violates or intends to violate the ordinance.

Like all previous "Sanctuary City for the Unborn" ordinances, the Goliad County ordinance does not allow for any lawsuit to be filed against the mother of the unborn child, but only allows for actions to be taken against those who are assisting her in the killing of her child — when they cross the unincorporated area of Goliad County.

This ordinance also applies to those who attempt to abortion traffick unaccompanied minors in the area. AST will be back on the road this week to help further support the ordinance proposal. This is yet another measure by which citizens can take action on the city and county level in Texas to combat the death and destruction of innocent lives, including the further exploitation of unaccompanied minors who are lured to the United States with promises made by incentivizing federal policies only to be offered abortions as a solution for the abuse they've endured. If you want to take action and bring this abortion trafficking ordinance to your city or county and to find out more about the Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinance and Mark Lee Dickson, click here.

This article was originally published at Alliance for a Safe Texas.

Sheena Rodriguez is the founder and president of Alliance for a Safe Texas, an organization devoted to informing the public of the catastrophic consequences of illegal immigration and open border policies. She recently testified before Congress on the issue of illegal immigration and unaccompanied minors. She has focused her recent efforts on raising awareness of the current border crisis, as she views the border issues as an extension of the pro-life movement. For nearly two years, Rodriguez has made frequent visits to the Texas border and has spent several months focusing on the Del Rio sector. When not at the border, Rodriguez can often be found at the Texas Capitol attempting to influence legislation to help fortify Texas.


Have a news tip? Submit news to our tip line.

We rely on you to support our news reporting. Please donate today.
By commenting on ChurchMilitant.com you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our comment posting guidelines

Loading Comments