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October 8, 2008

San Francisco Divided Over Legal Prostitution

Proposition K—a measure that would decriminalize prostitution in San Francisco—is coming under fire for failing to set limits on street prostitution, regulate the locations of brothels, assist sex workers who want to leave the profession, and require HIV tests, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Prop. K’s challengers claim the plan will increase violence and crime and encourage the exploitation of sex workers. Backers of the measure disagree, citing that it will cut crime and protect sex workers from sexual assault by allowing them to report crimes without being penalized.

“When I worked as a prostitute in the city, I was raped, and I wasn’t able to go to the police,” said Carol Leigh, now director of Bay Area Sex Workers Advocacy Network. “As prostitutes, we do contribute a lot. We also support our families. Why are we sitting ducks out there with no security?”

Search: San Francisco, prostitution, decriminalization, Proposition K

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