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UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See prorev.com for full contents of our site

January 11, 2010

DC GOVERNMENT THINKS WOMEN WITH MORE THAN TWO CONDOMS ARE WHORES

Change - Think you might get lucky tonight? Well, if you're in D.C., don't bring more than two condoms in your purse, or you could be arrested as a prostitute.

In D.C., police can declare "Prostitution Free Zones" where officers can pick up (I mean, arrest) anyone suspected of sex work. And they've been accused of using carrying three or more condoms as proof of intent to sell sex . . .

But as RH Reality Check points out, the real danger of this law falls to people who actually are sex workers. It pushes them to abandon safe sex techniques, putting their own health at risk as well as that of the general population. Add to this the fear of arrest or harassment that keeps sex workers from seeking health care, and you have a recipe for disaster. . .

This law prioritizes making commercial areas look clean and pretty lady-free, not protecting the public's health. But the root of the problem isn't this one law: it's the criminalization of sex work. If you want to criminalize something, stick to pimping -- after all, many of these women have been trafficked unwillingly and subjected to violence.


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