US Human Rights Network Blog

US Human Rights Network Blog



Network Member Woodhull Freedom Foundation Wins SESTA/FOSTA Appeal

Feb 26, 2020

On our last USHRN member call, Kaytlin Bailey represented our members at Woodhull Freedom Foundation and Decriminalize Sex Work to provide an update on Woodhull’s case against SESTA/FOSTA (Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act and Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act). Kaytlin explained how the laws (which went into effect in 2018) have been detrimental to harm reduction communities, sex worker communities, and other legal businesses who have been swept into SESTA/FOSTA’s defintion of “sex trafficking.” One impact includes a 700% increase in street based prostitution as a result of losing online spaces. Listen to Kaytlin’s breakdown of the impacts of SESTA/FOSTA and the status of Woodhull’s appeal on the recording of our member call (Kaytlin’s update is from 50:06 - 53:31).

We are thrilled to share Woodhull’s exciting news:

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals revived Woodhull‘s challenge to FOSTA and the court ordered that the constitutional challenge be sent back to the district court for a ruling on the merits.

“We are thrilled with the victory in this incredibly important case,” said Ricci Levy, President and CEO of Woodhull. “We are committed to fighting this unconstitutional and dangerous law to the end.”

“The entire legal team worked tirelessly in this appeal, and we are happy to see that the constitutional challenge is moving forward,” said Lawrence G. Walters, Esq., General Counsel to Woodhull, and a member of the legal team challenging FOSTA.

The decision can be found here. Monitor this page for further updates.