Advocates for Sex Workers Send Open Letter to Allegheny District Attorney Stephen Zappala Opposing Criminalization of Condom Possession

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.”


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.

Pa Sen. Bob Casey’s letter for Workers/Survivors to understand the FOSTA/SESTA facts

Senator Rob Portman of Ohio introduced S. 1693, the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017, on August 1, 2017. The legislation amends Section 230 to ensure that those who run sites that knowingly facilitate sex trafficking can be held accountable for their actions in civil or criminal court. Representative Ann Wagner of Missouri introduced H.R. 1865, the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) on April 3, 2017. This bill imposes criminal penalties on a person who facilitates sex trafficking in interstate commerce.  

Why Sex Workers are Fighting the Anti-Sex Trafficking Bill

Guest post by collaborators: M. Dante, Lola Li, and Heather Berg. On March 12th, the Senate votes on SESTA, the Stop Enabling Sex Trafficking Act. SESTA would criminalize the online advertising, information sharing, and support networks that sex workers use to do their jobs safely. Readers can support the #LetUsSurvive campaign by calling their Senators. WE ARE: #SurvivorsAgainstSESTA