Bernie Sanders open to decriminalizing sex work

Bernie Sanders open to decriminalizing sex work
© Greg Nash

Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersHuffPost political reporter on why Bernie fell way behind Biden Schumer: Administration 'must move heaven and earth' to implement new unemployment benefits Biden associates reach out to Holder about VP search 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.

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"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 WarrenMaryland Legislative Black Caucus pushes for state to release racial breakdown of coronavirus impact Hillicon Valley: T-Mobile, Sprint complete merger | Warren pushes food delivery apps to classify workers as full employees | Lawsuit accuses Zoom of improperly sharing user data Warren calls on food delivery apps to classify workers as full employees 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 HarrisMaryland Legislative Black Caucus pushes for state to release racial breakdown of coronavirus impact Biden associates reach out to Holder about VP search Biden confirms he's considering Whitmer for VP MORE (Calif.), Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerMaryland Legislative Black Caucus pushes for state to release racial breakdown of coronavirus impact Democrats eye additional relief checks for coronavirus Lawmakers, labor leaders ramp up calls to use Defense Production Act MORE (N.J.), Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi Gabbard20 House Dems call on Trump to issue two-week, nationwide shelter-in-place order The Hill's Morning Report — ,000,000,000,000: GOP unveils historic US rescue effort Gillibrand endorses Biden for president 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."

However, other Democratic candidates have argued sex work should remain criminalized.

New York City mayor and presidential hopeful Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioDe Blasio calls for 'national enlistment' of medical personnel amid coronavirus outbreak Trump expected to recommend certain Americans wear masks to limit virus spread Jeff Bezos gives 0M to Feeding America amid coronavirus pandemic 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.