Decriminalize sex work to make it safer, remove threat of arrest
The purpose of this letter is to encourage your readers to contact their representatives and advocate for the full decriminalization of sex work in the United States.
Decriminalization would provide benefits not only to sex workers but also to all Americans by enhancing their safety and well-being. It is time for our society to take action to protect the rights and safety of this marginalized group.
It is worth noting that sex workers do not desire legalization or extensive regulation of their profession. Decriminalization, in contrast, would generate new jobs and significantly increase economic growth.
A study conducted by the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women found that the full decriminalization of sex work in the U.S. would raise GDP by $11 billion annually. Between 70,000 and 80,000 individuals are arrested for prostitution each year in the U.S., costing taxpayers approximately $200 million. Decriminalizing sex work offers a substantial opportunity to enhance economic growth and improve the lives of millions of Americans.
Sex workers have faced violence, discrimination, and stigma for too long. Criminalizing sex work drives it underground, making it substantially more hazardous for sex workers. Denying sex workers access to basic legal protections leaves them susceptible to exploitation, abuse, and trafficking. Decriminalization would remove the threat of arrest and prosecution, and permit sex workers to operate safely and autonomously.
The issue of decriminalizing sex work should not be a partisan matter. It offers advantages that both Republicans and Democrats can support. Decriminalization has the potential to reduce the number of individuals reliant on welfare by providing these individuals with access to a legitimate source of income.
Furthermore, decriminalizing sex work can help to achieve universal rights for all Americans. I believe that it is important to uphold the principle of non-interference in the affairs of consenting adults, respecting their privacy, and honoring their personal autonomy. I’m not alone in this regard.
It is crucial to maintain consistency in our beliefs about American freedom. If we believe in the inherent value of individual liberty, this should apply to all Americans, regardless of the specific moral beliefs we hold. Prostitution is a consensual activity between adults that neither harms nor takes from anyone else. In the absence of any infringement on the rights of others, there is simply no justifiable reason for sex work to remain criminalized.
Prohibition has never proven to be effective, whether in the early 1900s or in the present day. Instead of promoting the idea of rescuing sex workers, it is essential to recognize their need for rights; understanding that sex workers do not exploit themselves nor sell their bodies. Rather, they offer their services or labor in exchange for monetary compensation. I suggest researching the history of why this industry continues to be criminalized.
I urge you to write to your representative in support of all hardworking Americans and taxpayers by advocating for a bill that fully decriminalizes sex work, without imposing harmful and unnecessary regulations.
By taking this action, you will be taking a significant step towards ensuring that these laborers are able to work safely and independently, and towards creating a more equitable and just society for all.
(Hill, formerly known as C. Tkach, is author of Sexual Liberty: Memoirs of a Sex Worker’s Fight for Freedom and is the founder of the Libertarian Party of Orleans County.)