A public policy director for the leading organization exposing the links between all forms of sexual abuse and exploitation says international data demonstrates how legalizing prostitution is a bad deal for everyone.
Pennsylvania Representative Summer Lee (D) has introduced a bill in the state House that would decriminalize the entire commercial sex industry in The Keystone State. Eleanor Gaetan of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation tells OneNewsNow the idea is not a new one, and it remains a bad one.
"It's impossible to make commercial sex safe or stigma free," Gaetan asserts. She says any claim otherwise "is a kind of mythology that is fueling a movement that would, in fact, endanger our youth, vulnerable people, poor people, [and] homeless people."
She adds that decriminalizing the industry would not reduce demand; it would increase it. Germany, for example, tried the experiment in 1999-2000, and trafficking increased 70 percent during that time.
The Netherlands legalized it in 2000, and Gaetan reports that "between 50 percent and 90 percent of women selling their bodies are there against their will. You go to those windows in the red light district, and they're almost entirely foreign national women who have been brought there through criminal networks. These are not Dutch women who are selling themselves because of an empowering experience," she reiterates.
Gaetan says the idea is disastrous and damaging, so she is encouraging people throughout the United States to contact Rep. Lee with the facts and ask her to withdraw the bill.