In a recent column published by the Las Vegas Sun, Caroline Mello Roberson – state director of NARAL Pro-Choice Nevada – wrote that “our state has a long history of trusting women and protecting our reproductive freedoms.”
She went on to note that Nevadans overwhelmingly passed a state referendum guaranteeing abortion rights in 1990 and celebrated the one-year anniversary of the 2019 Nevada Legislature’s passage of the Trust Nevada Women Act which decriminalized various abortion actions.
But this raises a thorny question…
If women can be trusted to make decisions on whether or not to terminate a pregnancy, why can’t they be trusted to make decisions on whether or not to do the thing that results in pregnancy?
What I’m talking about here, of course, is the Legislature’s refusal to decriminalize or legalize prostitution in Clark and Washoe counties.
Why do pro-choice, when it comes to abortion, elected officials continue to support arresting consenting adult women for freely choosing to work in the commercial sex industry?
Shouldn’t we “trust women” to decide for themselves whether to engage in this line of work without fear of being arrested and prosecuted?
As for the (lame) argument that prostitution is somehow “different” because it’s a financial transaction, there’s no better counter-argument than this vintage riff by comedian George Carlin…
“I don’t understand why prostitution is illegal. Selling is legal. F*cking is legal. Why isn’t selling f*cking legal? You know, why should it be illegal to sell something that’s perfectly legal to give away? I can’t follow the logic on that one at all!”
That’s because there is no logic to it.
Instead of studying whether or not to license and regulate prostitution – like we do for gambling, liquor and marijuana – in Clark and Washoe counties, where the health and safety risks for this line of work are enormous, the Nevada Legislature is instead studying the working conditions in the state’s rural LEGAL brothels where such health and safety risks are all but non-existent.
Legislators who are pro-choice when it comes to abortion should at least be consistent. Do we trust women…or don’t we?
Mr. Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, a limited-government grassroots advocacy organization, and government affairs counsel to the Nevada Brothel Association. His views are his own.