Two members of Parliament quoted in the article raised the following points:
Fiona Mactaggart MP...dismissed arguments that prostitution was an inevitable part of society, adding: "We have always had murder - that doesn't make it right. The price of prostitution is enormously high for women...[And] the more vulnerable the woman is, the cheaper the price is for men."
Denis MacShane MP, a former minister and campaigner against sex trafficking, added: "Until you have the Wilberforce moment when you say those who buy [sex] are just as guilty as those who are selling [women], it will continue to grow. It's not until there is a regular flow of men before the courts because they have paid for sex with illegally trafficked sex slaves that we will see a change in culture."
The question of sex work is a tough one for many people who work to end violence against women, with both the abolition and decriminalization camps making strong cases. If you view it as violence against women, then making a decriminalization case is pretty hard, but many argue, as this follow-up opinion piece points out, that "until women are given real choices in their lives, no amount of draconian legislation will change the current landscape of prostitution."
Both articles also reference Sweden's experiment with criminalizing the purchase of sex, and reached opposite conclusions, but this older piece from the New Statesman magazine suggests that it has been successful, at least to some degree.
I'm interested to see where this goes, and the strategy works. It's a debate I'm not hearing in the US, but think it's an important one to have. Regardless of the outcome, I'm glad there are so many great organizations out there working with individuals that sell sex to support them and ensure that they are safe and have resources. A few based in DC include: