Back in December, France’s lower house of parliament voted to make prostitution a crime for those who pay for sex, subject to a fine of €1,500 ($2,030) for a first offense and €3,750 thereafter. This new law follows similar laws in Sweden, Finland and Norway to restrict prostitution. Even Germany is now having second thoughts about its decision over a decade ago to liberalize the world’s oldest profession.
Does this mean the U.S. federal government should follow suit and start looking at its own laws regarding the sex-for money-industry? In the eyes of the federal government, prostitution is legal. There are no statutes making it illegal, which is why some Nevada counties allow brothels to operate with abandon.
For millions of Tea Party and constitutional conservatives, prostitution is a thorny issue that mixes opposition of government regulation with issues of morality, Many of us within the Tea Party find ourselves in conflict with what our opinion should be. On the one hand, we want the federal government to stay out of our lives. On the other we believe in the Bible and the standards of morality it prescribes.
Prostitution is a blight on America’s social fabric. It occurs in every state, in every city. The only solution is a federal ban on prostitution with the resources of the U.S. government brought to bear.
While exact number are hard to find, in 1999 a study released in cooperation with The Alliance for Speaking Truths on Prostitution and The Center for Urban and Regional Affairs estimated that more then $40 million per day was spent on prostitution which totals more then $14.6 billion per year. Yet, with that lucrative of an industry, why do most prostitutes live in poverty? Most find themselves in the bottom of the income bracket with large portions of their income being paid out to pimps or agencies, health bills and legal fees. The majority of prostitutes virtually give up their rights when they accept this career, because who can they run to when their rights are infringed? Who can they look to for help when they suffer abuse or neglect?
In reality, the prostitution of women — and that’s who we are talking about most of the time — is a kind of violence against women. Let’s not romanticize or glamorize what the business is. This isn’t something that is a highly-paid and exciting business for young women jet setting on yachts and five-star hotels. The majority of prostitution happens in underprivileged areas, where women are dominated and assaulted and battered.
Research shows it is not the prostitutes who control the money or have any say in the matter. It’s a business in which most prostitutes are not “free to choose” and whose rights are rarely respected or defended. They get caught up in it and can’t leave. The majority of those in the industry never were given the choice as some numbers suggest the majority of prostitutes were forced to begin selling themselves between the ages of 11-13. Human trafficking and adolescent sexual abuse have become a very large problem in this Country, and any laws lessoning the punishment for sex crimes of any kind only encourages this evil to grow.
Just because prostitution may be an act between two consenting adults doesn’t mean that it’s right. It’s not a victimless crime. It’s a multibillion dollar business that exploits, debases and dehumanizes people. I doubt too many little girls and boys begin life telling their teacher on career day that one day they aspire to become a male escort or a prostitute.
In reality, prostitution is a form of slavery for most and with the ratification of the 13th Amendment in December of 1865, Congress has the power to protect all citizens against being enslaved to another citizen.
The Tea Party movement, as a whole, should traditionally only make judgments on fiscal and Constitutional issues. It ought to leave social issues to others. Because there are no specific provisions for or against prostitution found in our Constitution, the safety net of the 10th Amendment, leaving the powers of governance to the states, is traditionally referenced to keep the federal government out of prostitution.
But prostitution is an evil that ought to be tackled at a national level. The Tea Party, doesn’t take the position of no Government; it calls for a limited Government. For an industry that thrives on the infringement of a citizen’s rights, the Constitution does allow for the Government to make prostitution a federal crime – as it ought to be.