New York lawmakers introduced a bill in the state assembly Monday that would make it the first state the fully decriminalize sex work.
Introduced by Senators Julia Salazar and Jessica Ramos, the bill would make it legal under certain circumstances to both buy and sell sex. The hope is that more regulation of sex work will make it safer for sex workers and remove legal barriers to survival sex work. The bill also removes certain misdemeanor charges related to prostitution. The goal is to also reduce stigma around sex work by letting sex workers know that they are protected under the law and can feel more confident reporting abusive employers.
Opponents of the bill are doubtful the bill will pass and fear that the legislation will have the adverse effect of increasing sex trafficking by incentivizing traffickers to increase profits in a now legal market.