Sex trafficking victims deserve support

by Zoey Cobb, University student

A 2010 study showed that every month at least 200 girls in the state have been sold for sexual purposes in Minnesota.  Human trafficking is not a thing of the past, and the victims of this horrific industry deserve comprehensive support.
The Senate is currently looking at a bill that could help provide that support, called the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act. Among other things, this act would establish a compensation fund for victims that would be paid for by fines from trafficking perpetrators. 
Unfortunately, Republican leadership is preventing this by fighting to include language that would prohibit victims from using their compensation to access the full range of health care options to address their physical and mental needs, and too many of our legislators are willing to let this slide. Disallowing a vulnerable and exploited population from seeking abortion care is simply unconscientious. 
Victims of trafficking are more likely to have become pregnant through trauma and less likely to have the resources to support a pregnancy or child than the general populace. They, just like anyone else, deserve to decide what is best for them as they move forward in their life. The fact that some legislators are more concerned about limiting abortion access than providing comprehensive care to trafficking victims sickens me.
I urge students who vote in Minnesota to reach out to Sen. Amy Klobuchar and tell her that trafficking victims need to be able to make their own choices about their own bodies.