STATEMENT – PA Legislature Must Recognize Harms of Decriminalizing Entire Sex Trade

NCOSE Press Statement logo

Washington, DC (October 15, 2020) – The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) expressed strong opposition to a bill introduced by Rep. Summer Lee into the Pennsylvania House of Representatives that would fully decriminalize the entire commercial sex industry including pimping, sex buying, and brothel owning.

“We oppose this harmful policy proposal, as it will explode the demand for commercial sex thereby causing extensive harm to vulnerable people in Pennsylvania. There are never enough people willing to be exploited and degraded by this highly manipulative and dangerous trade,” said Dawn Hawkins, senior vice president and executive director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.

“Wherever the sex trade is normalized, sex trafficking increases, as demonstrated by an academic study of 150 countries led by the London School of Economics.

“Additionally, fully decriminalizing prostitution gives cover to the extensive injuries and illnesses perpetrated by pimps/sex traffickers and by men who buy people for sex.

“We urge the Pennsylvania legislature to reject this proposal as unworthy of consideration,” Hawkins added.

About National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE)
Founded in 1962, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) is the leading national non-partisan organization exposing the links between all forms of sexual exploitation such as child sexual abuse, prostitution, sex trafficking and the public health harms of pornography.

The Numbers


NCOSE leads the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation with over 300 member organizations.


The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has had over 100 policy victories since 2010. Each victory promotes human dignity above exploitation.


NCOSE’s activism campaigns and victories have made headlines around the globe. Averaging 93 mentions per week by media outlets and shows such as Today, CNN, The New York Times, BBC News, USA Today, Fox News and more.



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