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Pro-abortion-rights group slams senators over trafficking bill

NARAL Pro-Choice America rolled out TV ads this week against four Republican senators up for reelection in 2016, targeting them for an anti-trafficking bill that stalled over a fight on abortion.

The group launched TV spots against GOP Sens. Mark Kirk (Ill.), Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Ron Johnson (Wis.) and Richard Burr (N.C.).

{mosads}The 30-second ads suggest that the Republicans support the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act because of abortion language.

“A Senate bill would help survivors of sex trafficking to get their lives back on track,” the ad says in Illinois. “But Sen. Kirk refuses to support it, unless survivors are denied access to abortion care. Call Sen. Kirk and tell him it’s wrong to use survivors as political pawns.”

The ads will air for a week on Fox News, MSNBC and CNN in each of the senators’ states.

The anti-trafficking bill, which would increase resources for law enforcement and trafficking victims, was expected to be a bipartisan success in the Senate. Democrats, however, are objecting to the legislation because it includes the Hyde Amendment, which restricts the use of federal funds on abortions.

If the legislation passed with the abortion language intact, a victims fund that gets its money through criminal finds would be subjected to the abortion restrictions. Democrats argue that is an expansion of Hyde, which they say is normally limited to appropriations bills.

Democrats want the language removed, but so far, Republicans are holding their ground. The Senate was largely at a standstill for two weeks last month, as senators waded into an unusually rancorous debate over the abortion provision.

Kirk’s campaign shot back at what it called NARAL’s “cheap and untrue” attack.

“[Kirk] has taken stances on a range of issues that reflect the views of the people of Illinois, including his support for a women’s right to choose and his fight against human trafficking,” his office said in a statement.

—Updated at 2:03 p.m.

Tags Kelly Ayotte Mark Kirk Richard Burr Ron Johnson

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