NPR

Should Sex Work Be Decriminalized? Some Activists Say It's Time

Opponents of decriminalization say the multi-billion-dollar industry exploits sex workers. But activists and academics say legalization would protect workers and benefit public health.
LGBTQ, immigrant rights and criminal justice reform groups, launched a coalition, Decrim NY, in February to decriminalize the sex trade in New York. Source: Erik McGregor

Sex work is illegal in much of the United States, but the debate over whether it should be decriminalized is heating up.

Former California Attorney General and Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris recently came out in favor of decriminalizing it, as long as it's between two consenting adults.

The debate is hardly new — and it's fraught with emotions. Opponents of decriminalization say it's an exploitative industry that preys on the weak. But many activists and academics say decriminalization would help protect sex workers, and would even be a public health benefit.

RJ Thompson wants to push back against the idea that sex work is inherently victimizing. He says for him

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