Dear District Attorney Zappala

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.

Sex Worker Outreach Project Joins Local Opposition To Controversial Condom Charges By Megan Harris

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

Collateral Damage: Aussies Impacted By US FOSTA/SESTA

The Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) passed Congress and was signed into law by US President Donald Trump back in April. It was intended to target websites hosting ads for illegal sex services, such as Craigslist, Backpage and Cracker. But the same websites are used by legitimate, adult, consenting sex workers all over the world, including in Australia. Sex workers here were bracing for the impact of an effective ban on advertising, and for many the financial losses have surpassed their worst expectations.