On Wednesday, several organizations and legislators stood together in support of legislation this year that adds stronger penalties for and clearly defines human trafficking. After years of work on this issue, it was great to see such a bipartisan effort to help local law enforcement battle this evil practice. Yesterday's press conference reminded me of an effort we were involved with several years ago on this very issue, way before it was in vogue to combat trafficking. So, I dug out a photo of a bill signing with then Governor Tim Kaine, or very own Victoria Cobb, and then Delegate and now state Senator Adam Ebbin:
This year, we continue to support these efforts. The legislation we support goes beyond what was talked about yesterday. Unfortunately, because of an opinion by AG Mark Herring, some who claim to care about "women's health" are no longer required to report suspected cases of child sexual abuse or rape to law enforcement or the Department of Social Services. Those the AG choose to exempt from this responsibility work in Virginia's "women's health care centers" (i.e. abortion centers). Interestingly, the opinion resulted from our discovery that an abortion center in Roanoke, along the I-81 corridor, an area high in sex trafficking, violated Virginia's parental consent law, and performed abortions on 13 and 14 year old girls. There is now no way to be sure that those girls weren't victims of sex trafficking because no one at the abortion center reported the crime so no investigation took place.
It is interesting that the abortion industry has been absent from the fight on sex trafficking. One would think that a group that pertains to care about women would be involved in fighting one of the most horrific and degrading practices in existence.