The Right To Protected Sex: Bill Introduced To Decriminalize Condom Possession
Anti-trafficking advocates, LGBT organizations, lawmakers and public health advocates have gathered in Albany, New York today to push for new legislation about condoms. Yes, condoms.
Currently 39 million male condoms and two million female condoms are distributed for free in New York State. According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, “Consistent and correct use of the male latex condom reduces the risk of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV transmission.” If used correctly, rubbers can also prevent unplanned pregnancies.
Yet having pockets full of condoms could also lead to a potential prostitution arrest by law enforcement, or even be used as incriminating evidence by prosecutors in trial. If trafficking victims, sex workers, LGBTQ persons and others are targeted by law enforcement, what is the incentive to have safe sex?
The No Condoms As Evidence Bill wants to end this practice by law enforcement. Among the many different supporters of the bill is Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice, who said:
“I trust that my [attorneys] have the skills and the evidence to make their trafficking cases without putting the health and reproductive rights of trafficking victims at risk by creating additional deterrents to condom access for trafficking victims.”
The bill is currently being reviewed; if it passes, sex-trafficking victims will no longer have to compromise their health for fear of arrest.
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