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Advocate: Abortion ban to dangerously impact trafficking victims

INDINAPOLIS (WISH) — The clock is ticking down until the near-total ban on abortion goes into effect statewide on Thursday. The ban has brought to light deep concerns on it’s impact for trafficking victims due to it’s restrictions on where an abortion can still take place.

“If a hospital setting is the only place where they’re going to receive either birth control or abortion care, they are less likely to receive it at all,” explains Beth White, CEO of the Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault and Human Trafficking.

White says hospitals are more conspicuous than clinics and therefore places where a trafficker would never take a victim. She fears if a victim does become pregnant it will lead to an increase of violence.

“A young person who may be the victim of sex trafficking, who might find herself pregnant, and then her trafficker is unhappy with the status of his ‘assets’, if I can use that terrible term, who was now less able to provide sex services because of the pregnancy,” says White. “That’s going to mean desperate measures to terminate that pregnancy, measures that involve significant risk to the mental and physical health of that person.”

Indiana’s abortion ban currently has an exception for rape and incest up to 10 weeks. White says it’s not nearly enough time for a mother, let alone, a trafficking victim make a decision or get access to healthcare. White says, while her team will have to wait and see the ban’s true impact on victims, she says she could see traffickers taking advantage of the ban by extending the crime down a victim’s family line.

“You would do anything that the trafficker requires of you in order to keep your baby safe. And that’s the more immediate concern of course, generational trafficking You know, is a factor,” White said.

White says the morning after pill or Plan B will still be accessible to anyone, regardless of circumstance.