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Prominent progressives are calling for additional scrutiny over anti-sex trafficking legislation by supporting a House bill which is seen by its sponsor as a potential first step to decriminalizing sex work.
The SAFE SEX Workers Study Act, sponsored by Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., would study the effects of two anti-sex trafficking bills — the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act and the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act [SESTA/FOSTA] — that became law last year. Opponents say the new law makes consensual sex work more difficult. According to Khanna’s office, the law has forced sex workers off of online platforms and into more dangerous situations.
The article goes on to state the following:
“Sex workers have relied on such internet platforms to screen clients and negotiate boundaries for consensual, transactional sex services, including condom use and other harm reduction strategies,” Khanna said in a press release on Tuesday[.]
“While SESTA/FOSTA was intended to curb online sex trafficking, by banning the ‘promotion of prostitution,’ a host of internet platforms relied on by sex workers have shut down,” Khanna added.
Support for Khanna’s legislation came from Democratic Presidential candidates Sen.’s Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) as well as from two members of the progressive “Squad”: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich).
Today, on the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, @SenWarren and I are proud to introduce a bill to investigate the unintended consequences of SESTA/FOSTA. This landmark study will be the first of its kind #IDEVASW19 pic.twitter.com/g2tRJYFYjo
— Rep. Ro Khanna (@RepRoKhanna) December 17, 2019
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