Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I) would consider decriminalizing sex work if elected in 2020.
“Bernie believes that decriminalization is certainly something that should be considered,” Sanders’s deputy communications director Sarah Ford told Vice News in a statement on Thursday.
“Other countries have done this and it has shown to make the lives of sex workers safer,” she continued.
The statement from the Sanders campaign comes less than a day after fellow 2020 hopeful Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names MORE (D-Mass.) said she would also be open to decriminalizing sex work.
“I’m open to decriminalization. Sex workers, like all workers, deserve autonomy but they are particularly vulnerable to physical and financial abuse and hardship,” Warren said on Wednesday.
“We need to make sure that we don’t undermine legal protections for the most vulnerable, including the millions of individuals who are victims of human trafficking each year.”
A number of other Democratic presidential candidates have also indicated support for decriminalizing sex work, including Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook McEnany says Juneteenth is a very ‘meaningful’ day to Trump MORE (Calif.), Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants Black lawmakers unveil bill to remove Confederate statues from Capitol Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk MORE (N.J.), Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardGabbard drops defamation lawsuit against Clinton It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process 125 lawmakers urge Trump administration to support National Guard troops amid pandemic MORE (Hawaii) and former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel.
Harris expressed support for sex work decriminalization in an interview back in February, in which she also noted that “we can’t criminalize consensual behavior as long as no one is being harmed.”
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However, other Democratic candidates have argued sex work should remain criminalized.
New York City mayor and presidential hopeful Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioProtesters splash red paint on NYC streets to symbolize blood De Blasio: Robert E Lee’s ‘name should be taken off everything in America, period’ House Democratic whip pushes back on calls to defund police: We need to focus on reform MORE said in April that he is “not comfortable” with the idea of decriminalizing sex work.
“I think we have a very troubling dynamic out there and we need to keep the legal status it has now,” he said.