Veruca James On AB 1576: Why this bill is about more than condoms in porn

Veruca James On AB 1576: Why this bill is about more than condoms in porn

[On June 17, 2014] I will be meeting with Senator Holly Mitchell’s staff to testify, as a performer, that AB 1576 will not promote performer safety within the adult entertainment industry.  Please read why.

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I am writing to voice my opposition to AB 1576.  I reach out to you today to request that you to vote “NO” on AB 1576.

In addition to being a performer in the adult industry for three years, I have earned bachelors’ degrees in Finance and Accounting, as well as, a CPA.  I have been employed in public and private accounting prior to joining the adult entertainment industry as a performer.  I am writing you as an educated, independent performer, who chose this industry for my employment, as a passion.

As a performer in the adult entertainment industry, I am testifying to the already existing and effective occupational exposure control plan, as implemented by the performers and producers in the adult entertainment industry, which requires more stringent testing protocols than recommended by this bill. In addition, the proposed safety protocols would not only prohibit opportunities for profitable employment, but they are also excessive, a violation of my privacy, and deny my choice, as a performer, to engage in a creative, entertainment based industry, in which I accept the reasonable risks associated with the nature of my employment. AB 1576 will not promote the welfare, improve the working conditions, nor advance the opportunities for profitable employment for performers in the adult entertainment industry.

This bill would impose CDC recommended testing for HIV.  Currently, the CDC recommends the Elisa test, which tests for HIV antibodies in the blood.  Unfortunately, antibodies can take 3-6 months to develop in the blood of an infected person.  Due to our increased concern for our sexual health, our industry has self-adopted the use of the Aptima RNA test, which tests for the HIV virus, specifically, in the blood.  The Aptima RNA test is highly sensitive and will detect the HIV virus within 7-10 days of infection, hence our self-imposed 14-day testing window.  This bill has been amended to include our already implemented 14 day testing window, but that window would prove to be a moot point if we were forced to use the Elisa test, which had a 3-6 month incubation period.  Currently, our industry has the freedom and has always adopted the most current technology in both HIV and STI testing.  This is evidenced by the fact there has not been an on-set transmission of HIV within the adult entertainment industry in 10 years.  Our industry, already, has a more effective and efficient HIV exposure plan than suggested by this bill.

As a consumer, performer and producer in the adult industry, I know that the proposed “safety” protocols (condoms and other sexual barriers) will prohibit my opportunities for profitable employment and are proven to be excessive measures that are unnecessary with current testing protocols.  While I value my safety as a performer above the consumer demand, I am confident that our current testing protocols effectively mitigate the risks of STI’s and HIV transmission.  In addition, condoms and other sexual barriers are not approved for industrial or adult film production use.  Filming an adult movie requires 30-90 minutes of intercourse, which is far longer than the average condom or barrier recommended usage.  This increases the occurrence of breakage, chaffing, and vaginal and anal tearing which only increases the transmission risk of STI’s and HIV. This increased risk to my bodily health only makes me more susceptible to STI’s and HIV.  As a performer, I do not want to have government-mandated impositions on my health, based on inapplicable evidence of perceived protection.

As a producer of adult content, I create custom content and perform in web cam shows, with my fiancé, in our home.  This bill would eliminate my choice to legally perform and create content with my fiancé, without a condom or other proposed barriers.  In addition, it would require me to waive my privacy rights and submit to a government mandated STI test, in order to perform with my fiancé in our home.  The content produced by the adult entertainment industry is not limited to “scenes”/dvds.  The broad application of this bill would directly violate my rights to choose how I engage in sexual activity within my own personal relationship.

Lastly, AB 1576 is a direct violation of my right to privacy.   This bill would impose a government mandate on HIV testing, which would require me to waive my privacy rights and disclose my testing to a government agency in order to perform. There is a current lawsuit pending in the Federal District Court challenging the constitutionality of Measure B, which has very similar stipulations to AB 1576, which could be ruled to violate the Free Speech Guarantees of the First Amendment.  The only current required and regulated testing by the Department of Industrial Regulations is drug testing.  Approving a bill that is already being tried in Federal Court, for violating personal privacy laws, without any precedent seems hasty.

I urge you to consider my perspective and the effect your choice has on my life.  This bill might be presented to you as a simple safety measure needed in an industry without a voice, but I hope my arguments have proven that we do have a voice and a community that has already self-implemented protocols far exceeding the benefits this bill would provide.

Sincerely,

Veruca James

If you would like to voice your own opposition to AB 1576, please visit www.ab1576.org

Source

See also:  Adult Models, Directors and Crew Do NOT Want AHF’s Mandatory Condom Bill – #stopAB1576

AB 1576 proponent, latex fetishist Michael Weinstein, and Assemblymember Isadore Hall (D-AHF)
AB 1576 proponent, latex fetishist Michael Weinstein, and California Assemblymember Isadore Hall (D-AHF)