2020 Democrat Kamala Harris endorses decriminalizing prostitution after outcry from sex-work activists
February 27, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – 2020 Democrat presidential hopeful Kamala Harris came out in favor of decriminalizing prostitution Tuesday, the latest in a string of far-left stances and a reversal from her past stances as a prosecutor and lawmaker.
Harris, a U.S. Senator and former Attorney General of California, sat down recently for an interview with The Root released Tuesday. At one point, interviewer Terrell Starr pressed Harris on her past support for the 2017 Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA) and Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA), Harris claimed that dating to her time as San Francisco district attorney she has believed “we have to stop arresting these prostitutes."
When Starr asked Harris if she believes "sex work should be decriminalized," the candidate responded, "I think so. I do. I think that we have to understand though that it is not as simple as that.
“There is an ecosystem around that that includes crimes that harm people, and for those issues I do not believe that anybody who hurts another human being or profits off their exploitation should be free of criminal prosecution,” she continued. “But when you’re talking about consenting adults, yes. We shouldn’t consider that you can criminalize consensual behavior, as long as no one is being harmed.”
Harris appears to be attempting to defuse criticisms from pro-prostitution activists, who have criticized her support for the aforementioned bills (which they claim actually endanger sex workers by pushing prostitution even more deeply underground), for her 2016 prosecution of the sex client screening website Backpage, and for writing in 2009 that “Smart always starts with enforcing the law ― we must arrest the prostitutes as well as the pimps and the johns.”
So far, activists appear unsatisfied with Harris’ latest statements. Jessica Raven of the Audre Lorde Project and Decrim NY’s Steering Committee argues that her stance “perpetuates a false savior mentality that makes us feel good while actually failing to address why trafficking is happening and preventing it before it happens,” with those “root causes” being “poverty, LGBTQ discrimination and lack of access to affordable housing.”
Decrim NY is demanding a meeting with Harris to further discuss the issue, The Washington Times reported.
Among those against with the notion that legalization would make prostitution safer is Rachel Moran, an author and former prostitute who argues that when it becomes legal “there is no incentive for the government to provide exit strategies for those who want to get out of it.
“It’s nonsense to say a person can be empowered by allowing their body to be as open to the public as a train or bus station. And consent requires viable choices and alternatives,” Moran has written. “When prostitution is socially endorsed, the market expands. “Where are these new bodies coming from? Young women with choices are not going to say, ‘I’ll go into the sex trade instead of going to college.’ No. Socially disadvantaged young girls are funneled straight into prostitution.”
Like the rest of the current 2020 Democrat field, Harris is an uncompromising supporter of abortion-on-demand and the LGBT agenda. During her tenure as Attorney General, she played a key role in defending Planned Parenthood over its baby-parts scandal and instead investigated the Center for Medical Progress’ pro-life investigators who exposed it. She has also bragged about forcing religiously-owned companies and pro-life pregnancy centers to violate their consciences.
On Monday evening, Harris voted against legislation that would have mandated medical care for babies who survive abortions.