BOSTON (WWLP) – At a hybrid hearing mostly on criminal justice legislation, a bill by Representative Lindsay Sabadosa was heard that would completely overhaul the sex working industry.
Over the past several years, there has been a national movement to better protect sex workers. The bill, An Act to Promote the Health and Safety of People in the Sex Trade, does not have any co-sponsors.
The act of soliciting sex for money is illegal nationwide except for parts of Nevada. However, it was fully decriminalized in New Zealand and Representative Sabadosa said she looked at that country’s law as guidance for this proposal. This bill would fully decriminalize sex work in the state of Massachusetts, while also taking on marijuana records.
This means that both the act of buying and selling sex would become legal.
“In New Zealand, we found with full decriminalization, what you have is people who are more willing to report if they’re the victims of crimes, because they’re not worried about being arrested or incarceration, you have people who are more willing to go to doctors and get treatment, you have fewer STI’s and STD’s transmitted and you just have better overall public health of people who engage in these activities,” said Sabadosa.
Sabadosa also stressed that this bill has nothing to do with human trafficking, it only applies to sex work between consensual adults. The bill would also expunge prostitution related arrests as well as marijuana related arrests.
Representative Lindsay Sabadosa has two other bills dealing with sex worker protections that were also heard Tuesday.