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Wagner Anti-Sex Trafficking Bill Passed By Senate With Strong Bipartisan Support

Mar 21, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON - Congresswoman Ann Wagner (MO-02) released the following statement after the United States Senate passed H.R. 1865, the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA). Today’s vote came after a 388 to 25 vote for passage in the United States House of Representatives on February 27th.

“I applaud the Senate on their steadfast commitment to the fight against online sex trafficking and the work they did on critical, pro-victim sections of FOSTA,” said Congresswoman Ann Wagner (MO-02). “Together, and with the support of trafficking advocates, prosecutors, and law enforcement across the country, the 115th Congress has passed legislation that will give survivors the long-overdue justice they deserve and ensure that fewer victims are ever sold online in the first place. FOSTA will finally give local, state, and federal prosecutors the tools they need to put predators behind bars. Congress does not believe—and did not ever believe—that sex trafficking is a prerequisite of the free and open internet. I look forward to President Trump signing FOSTA into law.”

BACKGROUND:

In recent years, sex trafficking has moved from the streets to the internet. But law enforcement and victims can’t hold the websites that sell our children accountable. H.R. 1865 would give federal, state, and local prosecutors the tools they need to hold websites accountable for supporting the sale of sex trafficking victims. It would allow prosecutors to use both state sex trafficking laws and promotion of prostitution laws to prosecute websites that sell victims of trafficking, in addition to providing a new federal crime that is specifically tailored to how bad actor websites are engaging in the online sex trade. FOSTA would also clarify that section 230 of the Communications Decency Act does not impair or limit victims of sex trafficking from using their private right of action against the websites that sell them; amend the federal sex trafficking statute to define “participation in a venture” in response to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit’s 2016 decision in Jane Doe vs. Backpage.com [backpage.com], LLC; and allow State Attorneys General to bring civil actions on behalf of sex trafficking victims.

SUPPORTERS OF FOSTA INCLUDE:

Faith & Freedom Coalition, National Center on Missing & Exploited Children, Facebook, IBM, Oracle, HP Enterprise, Mastercard, ECPAT USA, Major Cities Chiefs Association, Manhattan District Attorney's Office, National District Attorneys Association, National Fraternal Order of Police, Shared Hope, Polaris, Rights4Girls, New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking, FAIR Girls, The Center for Family and Human Rights, American Hotel & Lodging Association, Operation Texas Shield, #FightForUs, Concerned Women for America, U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking, Enough Is Enough, National Center on Sexual Exploitation, The Covering House, Consumer Watchdog, Eastern North Carolina Stop Human Trafficking Now, S.A.F.E., Crisis Aid International, National Council of Jewish Women St. Louis, Coalition to Abolish Human Trafficking (Spokane, Washington), The Houston 20, the Austin 20, Houston Area Women’s Center, Freedom Church Alliance, Unbound Houston, Center for Success and Independence, Rescue Houston, Anti-Trafficking Alliance, the Refuge for DMST, Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church-Houston, Passion for Humanity, Childproof America, With You In Mind, YWCA Houston, 1st Priority Search and Recovery, Love People Not Pixels, Boundless Mercy, Home of Hope-Texas, Not In Our City, Elijah Rising, Missouri Juvenile Justice Association, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission Southern Baptist Convention, Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, Missouri KidsFirst