In Pennsylvania's

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Pa Catholic Conference and Human Trafficking

As per the U.S. State Department's Trafficking in Persons Report 2013, only "a mere fraction of the more than 26 million men, women, and children who are estimated to suffer in modern slavery have been recognized by governments as such and are eligible to receive the protection and support they are owed."

Some try to insinuate that Catholics and others who champion the rights of not-yet-born children do not recognize other assaults on basic human dignity.  How wrong they are!
"The solemn proclamation of human rights is contradicted by a painful reality of violations,

Catholics are at the very forefront of raising awareness about human trafficking.  Our neighbor - Mercer County (NJ) Congressman and pro life champion Chris Smith - has been the undisputed congressional champion in sounding the alarm to the modern slavery of human trafficking:  "There’s nobody more committed or dedicated....I appreciate Chris’s advocacy on this issue....And it’s no understatement to say that he was banging the drum on this long before many in Congress even knew the term 'trafficking in persons' or understood what it really meant" (Secretary of State John Kerry, Remarks at the Annual Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP) Release, 6/19/13). 


One aspect of the fight against human trafficking is the Child Interstate Abortion Notification ActAs the USCCB explained in 2005 about the need for this legislation

"a mother in Pennsylvania, where parental involvement is required, testified before Congress that her daughter was taken without her knowledge to New Jersey for a secret abortion by the parents of her daughter's boyfriend.... 'We urge Congress to pass this law to help protect vulnerable girls from this kind of exploitation.'"

Kudos to Mike Fitzpatrick for being a co-sponsor of HR 732.  Neither Bob Casey nor Pat Toomey are co-sponsors in the U.S. Senate of  S.32.  However, kudos do go to Toomey for being a co-sponsor of S.369.


In Harrisburg, Senator Stewart Greenleaf "introduced SB75, a law to fight human trafficking in Pennsylvania that was unanimously approved Dec. 10 in the Senate” (Linda Finarelli, Human trafficking bill pending in PA House, 1/24/14).  As per the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, "Legislation was already passed unanimously by the Pennsylvania Senate in December and hopefully it will be considered by the House of Representatives in the near future....we must demand legislative action that supports the dignity of the person and prevents victims from even getting involved in human trafficking. Please send a message in support of legislation that ends human trafficking by clicking here."

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