Illegal Use of Funds for Abortion; New Anti-Trafficking Laws Passed; The Case for Marriage

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October 11, 2000

Just before the Government Accountability Office (GAO) conducted an audit of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, money that IPPF had used illegally in India and Uganda to perform and promote abortions was repaid into a USAID account. The GAO had notified IPPF a month before that they would be audited, and just days prior to the audit the sum of $700,000 was transferred back to USAID. Marc Thiessen, spokesman for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said “there have been serious concerns for many years about IPPF and its affiliates using USAID funds for abortion-related activities, and there is now proof that International Planned Parenthood Federation violated their own agreement with the U.S. government. The question is: what’s going to be done about it?”

New Anti-Trafficking Laws Passed
The House passed a crime bill at the end of last week that will toughen laws against the sexual trafficking of women and children. Each year thousands of women and children are lured to other countries to work in factories or restaurants, only to find they are being sold into brothels or sent to work in sweatshops where they are often abused. The Central Intelligence Agency estimated 50,000 women and children are brought to the United States and forced to work. Few laws are aimed directly at sexual traffickers, so the traffickers often receive light penalties for their heavy offenses. Many times, after stepping forward, the girls are arrested and deported-thus, the victim is punished, and a prosecution is held without a witness. With this new legislation, Rep. Christopher H. Smith said, “not only will women’s lives be saved and protected, but now the criminals will go to jail for the rest of their lives.” This bill will give the women an opportunity to receive a temporary visa so they will not be deported immediately, possibly allowing them safely to be involved in the prosecution of their trafficker. BLI’s Janice Shaw Crouse has been a member of the national task force working on this issue.

The Case for Marriage
“The Case for Marriage: Why Married People are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially” was released last week by authors Linda J. Waite and Maggie Gallagher. They give warning that, “marriage cannot thrive, and may not even survive, in a culture that views it as just another lifestyle option.”

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