In the last legislative session, as you might recall if you could stay awake for it, Governor Andrew Cuomo introduced something seemingly everyone should have been in favor of: the Women's Equality Act (WEA), a 10-point plan to strengthen women's rights in the state. The omnibus bill, which was ultimately split into 10 individual bills, focused on everything from preventing pay and pregnancy discrimination to strengthening laws against human trafficking to protecting abortion rights. But in the end, the whole WEA failed, after a group of Democrats in the Senate sided with Republican lawmakers to block the abortion rights measure, and the Assembly and Senate couldn't agree on whether to proceed without it. The fight to pass it will be back on next session; groups like the New York Women's Equality Coalition have made it clear that isn't over, not by a long shot.
Image via Flickr user Todd Mecklem
But now there's a new concern from sex workers and their advocates: in trying to prevent human trafficking, would the WEA really just hurt prostitutes? And is the anti-trafficking provision why Assembly Republicans are suddenly so enthusiastic about the bill?More »