If you want to protect women in the sex trade this is the first step.
Courtesy of The Hill:
New York lawmakers introduced a state-wide bill to decriminalize sex work on Monday — the first proposed legislation of its kind in the country.
The Stop Violence in the Sex Trade Acts is a package of bills that seeks to amend state statues in order to decriminalize sex work between consenting adults while upholding existing anti-trafficking laws.
“Sex work is work and should not be criminalized by the state,” said state Sen. Julia Salazar (D), a lead sponsor of the bill, in a Decrim NY press release.
The bill is backed by Decrim NY, a coalition of more than 30 organizations across LGBTQ, racial justice and immigrant rights. Decrim NY launched in February and lobbied in Albany in May for the decriminalization of sex work.
Salazar added that the state’s current policies empower traffickers, “keeping sex work in the shadows.”
This is another of those subjects on which I have conflicting points of view.
On the one hand, women selling access to their bodies in order to put food on the table seems incredibly degrading.
Yet on the other hand, if we want women to have total autonomy and we trust them to make decisions about controlling their own bodies, then who are we to tell them what they can and cannot do with them.
And this new law would likely help protect them from sex traffickers, pimps, and assholes who think that just because they paid a woman they can then hurt them without facing consequences for their actions.
And no I have not forgotten that not all sex workers are women, and they would also benefit from a law that allowed them to report a crime to the police without fear of arrest and possibly unionize in order to gain access to higher wages, health care, and a safer environment in which to work.
Ultimately I take the same position on this topic as I do abortion.
It is simply not my place to tell anybody what they can and cannot do with their own bodies.