The Policy That Keeps Prostitutes From Carrying and Using Condoms

Julie Turkewitz

Julie Turkewitz is a New York-based freelance journalist. She spent two years writing about AIDS and homelessness for Housing Works. Her work has appeared in The Baltimore Sun, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and elsewhere.

 

New York isn’t the only place where cops can use condom possession to justify arrest, but sex worker advocates there are pushing a new bill.

 

…Condom possession in itself is not illegal in New York, nor in any other state. Rather, the fact that condoms can be used in court as evidence of prostitution means that police will sometimes confiscate condoms, interrogate those carrying several, and use them as part of the basis for arrest. A law like the one in New York would clarify that possession is permitted, quelling fears among those who want to use them. “If there is no way an item will ever be used as evidence, then there’s no excuse to ever take it or put it in an arrest sheet,” said Baskin….

 

READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE IN THE ATLANTIC HERE

 

4 Responses

  1. I’m reminded of the Comstock Laws. From the Wikipedia article:

    “During World War I, U.S. Servicemen were the only members of the Allied forces sent overseas without condoms which led to more widespread STDs among U.S. troops.”

    Well, I guess we aren’t so much more enlightened now, than then.

    By the way, I saw this blog post today:

    http://agonist.org/steve_hynd/20120318/sex_trafficking_online_village_voice

    I’m not sure if it’s worth arguing with them, but I’ve decided this blog is getting dropped from the ones I read regularly.

  2. I should note that above, the blog I’m referring to is “agonist.org” and not Bound, Not Gagged. Sorry if the pronouns were confusing.

  3. When I was 18, I was taken to jail because the people I was with had committed a crime. I showed up afterwards, but as the only “adult” I was arrested. When it became clear I was not a perpetrator, they started in on me about being a prostitute. The evidence? One single condom in my wallet. After threatening me to tears and crowding in to see through the window while I was getting my strip search (I have no idea what they were searching for), they finally got one of the kids to say it was all my grand plan.I never forgot how I was treated by law enforcement that day. McMinnville Oregon Police Department.

  4. I find this awful, particurally because it was drilled into my head in middle school sex ed that you must ALWAYS carry multiple condoms. If for no other reason than you have to use a brand new condom for each act of sex. So basically, I could be brought up on charges just for doing what KIDS are taught at PUBLIC SCHOOL to do? This is beyond corrupt.

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