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Appeal To MPs Consciences Re Prostitution 'Reform'

Appeal To MPs Consciences Re Prostitution 'Reform'

Today all MPS received a letter from SPCS highlighting serious conscience issues related to the forthcoming CONSCIENCE VOTE on the Prostitution 'Reform' Bill that is scheduled to be considered by the House in the second reading debate on the 26th of March. The idea of this letter was sparked following a comment made in the House by a supporter of the Bill, Katherine Rich: “I would be heart-broken if my daughter took up prostitution”. Proponents of the Bill argue that moral considerations should not be taken into account in considering the merits or otherwise of the Bill, and yet they use moral arguments to highlight their arguments in favour of law change and belittle those who oppose the changes specified in the Bill. All MPs have been asked by SPCS:

1. Can you in good conscience support a Bill that will effectively make the activities of pimping and brothel keeping legal so that they are treated under law like any other service industry activity?

2. Can you in good conscience support a Bill that will inevitably make it easier for young women and men to consider prostitution as an acceptable career

option, once it is decriminalised?

3. Despite the claims of the promoters of the Bill that its “purpose is not intended to equate with the promotion of prostitution as an acceptable career option”, do you in good conscience believe that such a claim will make one iota

of difference to the way young girls will view the ‘profession’?

4. Can you in good conscience support a Bill that decriminalises activities that actively exploit women, many of whom are already victims of sexual abuse, drug pushers, low self-esteem, family violence, and criminal gang activities?

5. Can you in good conscience deny that there are serious moral and social implications for a women or man who chooses to work as a prostitute, pimp, brothel owner and/or operator?

6. Can you in good conscience support a Bill that fails to take account of the real need to uphold the “public good”, fails to recognise the exploitative aspect of the industry and disingenuously treats prostitution as if it was like

any other service industry?

7. Can you in good conscience support a Bill that gives special “rights” to about 8,000 New Zealand sex workers to solicit for and engage in activities that spread venereal diseases, destroy marriages and relationships, trap women into drug dependence, and are connected to other criminal activities?

8. Can you in good conscience support a Bill that will make it much more difficult for the police to monitor the activities of brothels and ensure that under 18-year olds are not being exploited for sexual services?

9. Can you in good conscience support a Bill that could conceivably makes the tax-payer liable for “employment – related injuries” incurred by prostitutes involved in multiple sex partner acts, anal sex, risky-sadomasochistic (sexual)

practices; merely because their work is defined as part of the ‘real’ service industry?

10. Can you in good conscience support a Bill that could conceivably make tax- payers liable for some of the expenses (abortion or child-care costs) incurred by prostitutes who become pregnant as a result of condom failure, risky-sex practices etc.?

11. Can you in good conscience support a Bill that has the effect of legitimising sexual promiscuity, allows the government to take the role of pimp

in earning income from the sexual exploitation of men and women and disingenuously claims to be concerned about the welfare and occupational safety

and health of sex workers, while providing no remedy via pro-active assistance to those wanting desperately to exit the industry?

12. Can you in good conscience support a Bill that would treat your daughter or

son as involved in a legitimate service industry job if they became a pimp, prostitute or brothel operator and/or owner?

13. Can you in good conscience support a Bill that legitimises a ‘profession’ that causes the vast majority of its workers to suffer deep long-term psychological, physical and spiritual damage as documented in worldwide research studies (e.g. studies by Dr Melissa Farley)?

14. Can you in good conscience allow soliciting for sexual services to be legitimised and made lawful in New Zealand cities and suburbs, in full view of minors day or night, and treated under law as no different to selling pizzas or

newspapers on the street?

15. Can you in good conscience support the decriminalisation of prostitution, given the well-established fact based on overseas research, that wherever there

has been liberalisation of the law, prostitution-related activities have increased significantly?

16. Can you in good conscience say that you have carefully considered the moral, practical, economic, health and safety issues associated with this Bill if it is passed into law and tried to really understand the arguments carefully

presented by the opponents of the Bill?

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