There is currently a concerted effort to legalize prostitution in our nation’s capital. The Council of the District of Columbia’s Judiciary and Public Safety Committee held a hearing last week to consider the “Community Safety and Health Amendment Act of 2019.” As innocuous as it sounds, this legislation would fully decriminalize prostitution in Washington, D.C., including sex buying, pimping and brothel keeping. The legislation is extreme in both its scope and its destructive consequences if passed.
The negative consequences of legalizing prostitution are well-known from other cities and countries that have passed such laws: more girls, boys, and women are exploited, violence against those bought and sold for sex increases, and sex trafficking surges. Rather than protect the vulnerable and exploited, decriminalizing prostitution protect pimps (the people who sell other human beings) and Johns (the people who buy other human beings for sex).
Thankfully, awareness of both the causes and effects of prostitution is increasing across the country. Americans are starting to wake up to our highly sexualized culture and ask what can and must be done to stem the tide.
Pornography is a known cause of prostitution and human sex trafficking. Exposure to pornography is the number one driver for people — primarily men — to buy sex. Many women who have escaped from prostitution recount their experience being forced to perform acts that their buyers had seen in porn.
As a result of this awareness and evidence, 16 states have passed resolutions that declare pornography a public health crisis in the past three years. Family Policy Foundation’s Statesmen Academy alumnus Rep. Jena Powell is now leading the effort to make Ohio the 17th state to pass such a resolution. These anti-pornography resolutions rightly recognize the destruction of pornography on the human brain, consumers and their families, and society as a whole.
But as states take action to curb the harmful effects of pornography — and by extension, sex trafficking and prostitution — It is imperative that our nation’s capital not become a global sex destination by decriminalizing prostitution.
Take action now by sending the entire Washington, D.C. City Council a message that legalizing prostitution in our nation’s capital is a bad idea and you want to protect vulnerable women, girls and boys from increased sexual exploitation and violence.
Standing against exploitation,
The Family Policy Alliance Team