William Wilberforce

For those who do not recognize the name, Mr. Wilberforce is the guiding political force behind the abolitionist movement in England, and, eventually, around the world. The move AMAZING GRACE paid an overdue homage to this great man.

I read here in National Review Online that someone has paid another homage:

In December, the House of Representatives passed the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act by a vote of 405 to 2. The legislation modernizes and harmonizes existing federal laws against pimping to create a new set of criminal statutes, which will make the prosecution of sex-trafficking offenses easier and more efficient. It also creates a new international standard as a model for other countries.

The article goes on to mention opposition to the bill.

Now the bill is in the Senate, where the same groups who opposed its passage in the House are rallying forces to derail it. Critics of the House-passed Wilberforce Act allege that it will “federalize” anti-trafficking efforts.

The Washington Post claims it will send FBI agents on the “trail of pimps,” and sources in the story claim it will cause all prostitutes to be considered victims of trafficking. Laurence E. Rothenberg, deputy assistant attorney general at the Office of Legal Policy, made a related charge before the House Judiciary Committee: “The federal government cannot prosecute every prostitution case.” None of these objections holds water.

In fact, FBI agents have been on the trail of pimps for decades, bringing down major prostitution rings and arresting sexual predators, particularly those that exploit children or work in organized networks. Last year, through the Department of Justice’s Innocence Lost Initiative, which targets perpetrators of child sex trafficking, the FBI carried out 125 investigations that resulted in 308 arrests, 55 indictments, and 106 convictions of sex traffickers who exploited children. Most of these perpetrators were American pimps.

Also, the reforms do not conflate pimping with prostitution. They target sexual predators — the recruiters and organizers of prostitution/sex trafficking operations who routinely brutalize and destroy the lives of young women and corrupt local communities. The proposed bill does not involve the federal government in non-pimping prostitution offenses.

Sex-worker-rights groups and pimps, not surprisingly, also oppose the act. The Sex Workers Outreach Project and the Erotic Service Providers Union held a demonstration against the bill outside the office of Rep. Tom Lantos, the prime sponsor of the bill in the House before his death earlier this year.

In the Erotic Service Providers Union we see two threads of the Progressive movement combined: labor unionism and sexual liberation.  I am waiting for a general strike of the harlots, funded by Reds, complete with gangland violence. Government business would grind to a halt! Negotiations drag on while unhappy Johns with unmet needs must return to their wives for the satisfaction of their boudoiresque appetites. Would anyone be willing to hire good-looking scabs before recession and depression smites that segment of the national economy dependent on the activities of American versions of Phryne, Aspasia and Thais?

Aristophanes should have written a play about this.