Does overturning Roe v. Wade affect human trafficking? 

Does overturning Roe v. Wade affect human trafficking? 

The impact of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade isn’t theoretical. It can directly harm people who are rebuilding their lives after human trafficking and those who are still being exploited. As a result of the overturning of Roe v. Wade, Texas is enacting a law, with very few exceptions, that bans abortion from the moment of fertilization. Here are 3 ways Texas’ trigger ban on abortion will affect human trafficking: 

1. Banning abortion increases vulnerabilities traffickers prey on 

Revoking access to safe, legal abortion services increases vulnerabilities that traffickers use to exploit victims.

Women living in poverty already experience the highest rates of unintended pregnancies and abortions due to the lack of sex education and access to contraception. Carrying and raising a child is expensive and time-consuming for a person living paycheck to paycheck – especially single parents.

Seeing the desperate need for housing, medical care, childcare, and other resources required during and after pregnancy, traffickers swoop in to take advantage of this desperation for their own profit. 

2. Traffickers can use pregnancy and childbirth to keep victims under their control. 

The trafficked individual might feel obligated to stay in a toxic situation to ensure she has the resources she needs or for the sake of the child ‘having two parents.’

If the trafficker is the biological father and the victim flees exploitation with the child, the survivor is legally tied to the person exploiting her.

Control is the weapon traffickers wield – and what better way to control a woman than to force her to carry, birth, and raise a child? 

3. The overturning of Roe v. Wade will affect us all – but none more so than women of color.

Restricting or removing access to legal abortion is a theft of personal autonomy that hurts the entire community. This is where racial discrimination, human trafficking, and women’s rights intersect.

As we know, people of color experience poverty at higher rates and Black, American Indian, and Alaska Native women experience pregnancy related mortality at higher rates due to systemic racism. Women experience lower wages due to systemic sexism.

Therefore, poverty makes women of color more vulnerable to trafficking and unintended pregnancy.

This is not an exhaustive list of the ways criminalizing abortion will affect individuals and communities but highlights how it may harm trafficking survivors.

Banning legal abortion does not help women, families, children, or the community. It increases vulnerability and desperation. And it helps perpetuate human trafficking. 

We will continue to serve our clients as we always have – by connecting them with housing, basic care items, healthcare, mental health services, education, job training and opportunities, and more as they work to build the lives they dream.

We will continue to fight until all live free. 

PODCAST – How Traffickers Prey On Our Childhood Experiences

PODCAST – How Traffickers Prey On Our Childhood Experiences

Traffickers are master manipulators.

They twist past trauma to gain trust, build bonds, and even evoke love in their victims. This kind of emotional entanglement makes tricking a victim into human trafficking easy.

We don’t have control over what happens to us, especially as children. So is trafficking avoidable? Or are we stuck with the cards we’re dealt?

In this episode, we sit down with Sara Breuer, Education Coordinator at United Against Human Trafficking. We discuss childhood trauma, how human traffickers manipulate their victims, and how you can keep yourself and your families safe.

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6 Ways We Fight For Freedom in Houston

6 Ways We Fight For Freedom in Houston

This post was featured in Southwest Airline’s blog!

Jasmin

‘Jasmin’ walked up to our table during one of our city outreach events. Intrigued, she cautiously inquired about our organization, United Against Human Trafficking (UAHT). After discovering a bit about us, she shared her own experiences: she had been trafficked.


Jasmin‘s exploitation occurred on and off for years. Using force, fraud, and coercion, her trafficker compelled Jasmin to work without pay as a housecleaner and have sex with strangers for his own profit.

No cages or chains like in the movies – the threat of violence, of withheld food or shelter were more than enough to keep Jasmin trapped.

Still, Jasmin tried to leave. But each time she managed to escape, the man reappeared in her life to derail itThe trauma she experienced, coupled with lack of  support, led a hopeless to Jasmin to becoming dependent on drugs an alcohol to cope.

UAHT’s Outreach team acted quickly. They helped Jasmin navigate the intake process at a local clinic and arranged for transportation – all during a standard tabling event. Now safe, Jasmin is on a journey to recovery from both exploitation and addiction.

And it all started because she felt safe enough with our team to share her story. 

 

United Against Human Trafficking Outreach Event in Houston Community

UAHT’s Outreach Team Acted Quickly

Since 2005, we have assisted and empowered human trafficking victims, survivors, and at-risk persons like JasminOur vision is a world without the trauma Jasmin experienced, with zero tolerance for the buying and selling of human life. We fight so that all may live free. 

UAHT began as a small volunteer coalition in Houston that formed in response to the area’s dire trafficking problem: major highways, thriving trade, proximity to a major border, and a booming sex industry all contribute to the Greater Houston Area’s hotbed of human trafficking.

Today, UAHT is a leader in the Greater Houston Area’s anti-trafficking movement, unifying organizations across the region to develop a strategic approach to ending exploitation for the purposes of sex AND labor.

We collaborate extensively with the Houston Mayor’s Officethe Houston Police Department, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI, and other governmental and nongovernmental entities to ensure trafficked persons are treated with the respect and autonomy they deserve.

Our goal at UAHT is to find and fill service gaps in our region. Trafficking victims are all too often hidden in plain sight due to stigma, ignorance, and fear. They often belong to marginalized groups such as the homeless, immigrants/refugees, LGBTQ+, the substance-dependent, the mentally ill, and survivors of domestic/sexual violence, who already face enormous struggles.

We go out into the community to identify these forgotten victims, help in any way we can, and equip them with the tools they need to break free when they’re ready. 

Trafficking victims are often hidden in plain sight due to stigma, ignorance, and fear

How We Fight for Freedom

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