But, as of last year, through various legal and political battles, the law has been changed that effectively moved prostitution convictions back to the level of misdemeanor, as well as no longer forcing them to label as sex offenders. I got in touch with Deon Haywood, the executive director of Women With A Vision, who was one of the loudest voices and major driving forces in changing Louisiana’s archaic law. Her organization also has acted as legal advocacy for women having to do with issues of what they do with their bodies.
According to Ms. Haywood, the news was better than I had originally thought. Not only has the law been changed for all future individuals charged with prostitution, but individuals charged with prostitution prior to the change are now able to motion in court to remove themselves from the registry. According to Ms. Haywood, around 75 people have already had themselves removed from the registry, and around 100 people are waiting for a judge to hear their motions. “We haven’t had one person that’s been rejected. They no longer have to register as a sex offender, and they no longer have to pay,” said Ms. Haywood.