Bernie Sanders open to decriminalizing sex work

Bernie Sanders open to decriminalizing sex work
© Greg Nash

Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersTrump says Biden has been 'brainwashed': 'He's been taken over by the radical left' Ex-Sanders campaign manager talks unity efforts with Biden backers The Hill's Campaign Report: Florida's coronavirus surge raises questions about GOP convention 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

"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 WarrenThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic Unity Taskforce unveils party platform recommendations Progressive activist Ady Barkan endorses Biden, urges him to pick Warren as VP Congress must act now to fix a Social Security COVID-19 glitch and expand, not cut, benefits 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 HarrisCensus workers prepare to go door-knocking in pandemic Democrats awash with cash in battle for Senate Tammy Duckworth hits back at Tucker Carlson: 'Walk a mile in my legs' MORE (Calif.), Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerKoch-backed group urges Senate to oppose 'bailouts' of states in new ads Data shows seven Senate Democrats have majority non-white staffs New Jersey incumbents steamroll progressive challengers in primaries MORE (N.J.), Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardFinancial firms facing serious hacking threat in COVID-19 era Gabbard drops defamation lawsuit against Clinton It's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process 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 BlasioTrump calls New York City 'hellhole' after court upholds subpoena from city prosecutors NYPD retirements surge over 400 percent amid tensions with mayor NYC to start painting Black Lives Matter mural in front of Trump Tower Thursday despite pushback from Trump 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.