Presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are throwing their support behind efforts to decriminalize prostitution.
“I’m open to decriminalization. Sex workers, like all workers, deserve autonomy but they are particularly vulnerable to physical and financial abuse and hardship,” Sen. Warren, D-Mass., said in a Wednesday statement shared with Washington Post journalist Dave Weigel.
“We need to make sure that we don’t undermine legal protections for the most vulnerable, including the millions of individuals who are victims of human trafficking each year.”
Likewise, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., told Vice News through a spokesperson on Thursday that “decriminalization is certainly something that should be considered.”
“Other countries have done this and it has shown to make the lives of sex workers safer,” Sanders’ spokesperson asserted.
The terms “sex work” and “sex worker” are relatively recent euphemisms, catch-all terms that includes prostitution, escort agency operators, exotic dancing, and porn actors, among other things.
Proponents for decriminalizing prostitution, which includes both persons on the left and libertarian right, assert that trafficking is distinct from “consensual” or “voluntary” sex work.
However, prostitution abolitionists, which often means radical feminists and social conservatives, say trafficking cannot be separated from prostitution, that it is merely a processin an inherently exploitative industry.
Those who hold this view often advocate for what is called the Nordic or abolitionist model, which decriminalizes the sale of sex while banning its purchase in order to target the sex trade at its source: the johns and pimps. The phrase sex work, abolitionists note, obfuscates the many harms in what should never be sanctioned as a legitimate form of employment.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brandon Showalter