It is worth emphasizing that Congress was repeatedly warned that it was passing a law that would censor far more speech than was necessary to address the problem of sex trafficking, and that the law would indeed hinder law enforcement efforts and pose great dangers to sex workers. During the Congressional debate on FOSTA and SESTA, anti-trafficking groups such as Freedom Network and the International Women’s Health Coalition issued statements warning that the laws would hurt efforts to aid trafficking victims, not help them.
The letter notes that criminalizing condoms “has a chilling effect on Pittsburghers' willingness to carry and use condoms, especially those who are most vulnerable to contracting HIV/AIDS and other STIs including women and men of color, LGBTQ people, young people, victims of trafficking, and people in the sex trades.”
Decrying “punitive intervention,” the statement reaffirms the dignity and humanity of people who engage in commercial sex and insists that sex workers be empowered to take the lead in any and all decision-making that concerns them. It delineates the “rights of sex workers,” including the freedom to work as they choose, “without onerous regulation that is disrespectful of our agency and our autonomy.”
We’ve found over 100 companies, institutions, and discrete products who now discriminate against sex workers and performers (like Skype… — Read on survivorsagainstsesta.org
After years of hard work to make this a reality, the Crossroads Women's Center is hosting a ground-breaking celebration for our new space on Wayne Avenue on July 10th!
Allegheny County halts criminalizing of condoms in prostitution cases Megan Guza Allegheny County police officers will no longer criminalize condoms in prostitution-related cases, the department superintendent said Thursday. The change comes 2 ½ weeks after a Tribune-Review investigation found that the charge was being levied against women and men caught in prostitution stings based on individuals carrying condoms. Jessie and PJ Sage, co-founders of the Pittsburgh SWOP chapter, called Thursday’s news a win.
Media Links: Criminalization of Condom Possession in Pittsburgh
The Sex Worker’s Outreach Project (SWOP) Pittsburgh is disappointed in the District Attorney Zappala’s response to the open letter we and several other organizations (including ACLU of Pennsylvania, Women's Law Project, #SurvivorsAgainstSESTA and Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania) opposing several practice that endanger the citizens of Allegheny County: 1.) police and prosecutors’ practice of citing condom possession as evidence of intent to engage in prostitution-related crimes, 2.) police seizure of condoms and other contraceptives, and 3.) the practice of adding the more severe possessing-instrument-of-crime (“PIC”) charges under 18 Pa.C.S. § 907 when defendants are charged with prostitution.
A group of 17 organizations from across the state and Southwest Pennsylvania signed an open letter to District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. urging him to stop allowing condoms as evidence in support of prostitution-related charges.
Sex Worker Outreach Project Joins Local Opposition To Controversial Condom Charges By Megan Harris Local health and social justice experts say the recent criminalization of condom possession discourages sex workers from practicing safe sex and could lead to a broader public health problem. Possessing an instrument of crime under Pennsylvania law usually refers to weapons or body armor, but can include legal items used for criminal purposes. Data reported recently by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review show police in Allegheny County classified condoms as those instruments in one-third of prostitution cases reviewed last year. - | 90.5 WESA