Abolition of the prostitution laws would:
End the criminalization of prostitute women – we are being punished for refusing poverty and/or financial dependence on individual men. Black and other low-income women who, because of racism and other discrimination have fewer financial alternatives, bear the brunt of criminalization.
End legal, economic and civil discrimination against prostitute women and our families, and remove the stigma attached to prostitution which can result in women being deported, being separated from our children, denied health care, housing, jobs, school education for our children, etc.
Make it possible for sex workers to be recognized as workers, with human, legal, economic and civil rights, including the right to police protection, employment and health benefits, pensions, to form co-operatives and trade unions, etc.
Redirect police time and resources now being used to arrest sex workers (and sometimes clients), to dealing with rape, racist attacks and other violent crimes.
Increase safety for all women — rape and other violent crimes could no longer be dismissed on the grounds that the woman was “asking for it” because she was “loose” or a prostitute.
Make it easier for prostitute women to report pimps and other violent men for assault, rape, kidnapping, extortion, etc. — women would not have to come out as prostitutes and risk being arrested.
Recognize the experience and skills prostitute women have, and make them available to the rest of society.
Break down the division between prostitute women and the rest of the community, enabling sex workers and other residents in red-light areas to work together on the basis of common rights, needs and aspirations.
Demystify prostitution, break down the division between “good girls” and “bad girls”, and make visible the sex work other women do gratifying men’s egos and sexual demands, and make it easier for all women to refuse this work or charge more when we agree to do it.
Undermine the need for red-light areas as sex workers would not be prevented by law from advertising and working together indoors.
Separate consenting sex between adults, which should have nothing to do with the law, from offences of nuisance, which should be dealt with on the basis of what the nuisance is rather than who the person is.
Discourage police illegality and racism — women and men sex workers are often arrested when they are not working and convicted on police evidence alone. Black sex workers are often singled out for arrest.
Stop governments profiteering from prostitution through fines.
Undermine profiteering by employers, landlords and others who take advantage of the illegal or semi-illegal status of sex workers.
Prevent the introduction of legalized brothels which prioritize employers’ profits at the expense of sex workers’ rights, institutionalize women in prostitution and institutionalize pimping by the State in the form of high taxes for services and benefits most sex workers do not get.
Prevent the introduction of “zones” based on “tolerance” rather than rights — they endanger sex workers by further segregating us from the rest of the community.
Allow women to move in and out of prostitution as our financial situation requires, instead of being trapped in prostitution by a criminal record and the need to earn money to pay the fines.
Allow prostitute women greater control over our working conditions by increasing our power to decide what services we will provide, where, for how long and for how much.
Allow prostitute women to dispose of their income as we choose without the worry that husbands, boyfriends or even sons may be arrested for living off our immoral earnings, particularly if we or our loved ones are Black.
End the police and courts’ policy of using possession of condoms as evidence to arrest and convict prostitute women and men for prostitution offences.
Allow sex workers to come out, speak publicly and challenge media stereotypes.