Catholic’s and Victims of Sex Trafficking

Steve Wagner and Kim Daniels, in the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, have defended the anti-birth control and abortion stance of Catholic service providers that aid international victims of sex trafficking. The matter involves public money distributed to any organization that offers resourses to those who have fallen prey to those who market human beings. The hideous subject clouds the issue. This context doesn’t give credit to their position and their contention can be used against them with equal, if not more force.

… the federal Department of Health and Human Services decided its human trafficking grant-making process would prioritize those who would provide “family planning services and the full range of legally permissible gynecological and obstetric care.”

I do not take issue with any desire to be of service to victims of human trafficking. Wagner and Daniels are misguided and their argument obscures a disastrous consequence to the victims they profess to help.

They state the following against their opponents.

Some contend that Catholics are simply trying to impose their beliefs regarding abortion and contraception on others. Those who make this argument particularly ignore the context here: When abortion or contraception is provided to trafficking victims who remain under the control of those who exploit them, it’s the trafficker who benefits, continuing to exploit his victim without interruption.


In fact, with its edict, the government is imposing an ideological position without regard to the welfare of the victim. There is no possibility of a victim providing informed consent for abortion, sterilization or contraception, whatever the trafficker considers convenient; this is referred to as “modern-day slavery” for a reason.

Let’s assume that providing a full range of gynecological services indirectly benefits traffickers who exploit women, that would NOT mean that birth control and abortion wouldn’t still be a benefit to these women. The circumstance screams that pregnant women had no choice in the matter of conception because sex was forced. If the Catholic position governed, it would in fact compel the women to carry the children to term regardless of the desire to do so; in other words, the women and what they want doesn’t even matter. In such a case the women become slaves to biology in addition to being victims of the criminal trafficker; insult added to injury. What better reason do we have for providing birth control to such women and sparing them the indignity of being compelled by her gender to be an involuntary birth canal. Again with either the abusers or the Catholics the women have no liberty to direct their lives.

In the above argument Wagner and Daniels imagine the perpetrator to be more important than the victim. The needs of the woman are not even mentioned next to the motive of making the life of the traffickers less “convenient.” Reasoning from a similar circumstance if we follow the same logic, then a woman who contracted syphilis being a sex-slave should be denied medical attention because it will make it easier for her to continue to be exploited.

Idealism hides an absurd position that maintains that women who are victims are better off with fewer choices. The vague point about informed consent fails to satisfy because it assumes the service providers themselves can’t inform the women about what they provide.

Once again the women who are victims are not as important as religious beliefs. No such idealism should be supported with public money.

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