NARAL Launches Ads Against GOP Senators Over Human Trafficking Bill

04/03/2015 12:00 pm ET | Updated Apr 03, 2015

NARAL Pro-Choice America launched a TV ad campaign Friday against a handful of GOP senators up for reelection in 2016, lambasting them for their votes on a recent human trafficking bill.

The ads will target Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.). They will run on Fox, MSNBC and CNN in each state for a week.

The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act was widely expected to sail through Congress without controversy. Introduced by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) with bipartisan backing, the bill creates a fund to help victims by using fees charged to traffickers.

But the legislation screeched to a halt last month when Democrats discovered that Cornyn had included language in the bill that would bar victims from using the funds for abortion services. Republicans argued that the language had been in there the whole time, while Democrats said Republicans had slipped it in without telling them of the change.

Democrats filibustered the bill after Republicans refused to remove the anti-abortion rider, and the legislation remains stalled.

“It’s disturbing to watch these senators put their own ideology ahead of the lives of women who have been through so much already,” said NARAL President Ilyse Hogue. “The bill’s clear intention is to help survivors of human trafficking regain control of their lives, yet the first thing these senators want to do is tell them they can’t even have control over their own bodies.”

Democrats have also been facing fire over their votes.

Last month, National Republican Senatorial Committee launched robocalls targeting independent women voters five states, going after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sens. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). Reid has since announced he is not running for reelection.

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