Christian conservatives in Georgia are protesting a new law that would protect child prostitutes by giving them counseling and entering them into diversionary programs rather than imprisoning them.

But, you see, this is a huge problem. Active intervention designed to benefit, say, a 13-year-old who started prostituting herself because her parents kicked her out of the house or because the guy down the street threatened to kill her if she didn't go have sex with some of his friends is a terrible idea. And why is that?

Some opponents said the bills amounted to decriminalization, which amounted to legalization. And would lead to more prostitution, not less, they said.

“Decriminalizing that means the police would have absolutely no interest in it at all,” said Sue Ella Deadwyler, who writes a Christian conservative newsletter. “They wouldn’t arrest the girls, they wouldn’t pick the girls up, they wouldn’t protect them from influence on the street from the pimps and the johns. It would be an absolute cultural upheaval in our state. Never in the United States, as far as I known, has juvenile prostitution been legalized.”

You know what would probably protect girls more than giving them a criminal record? Arresting the people who are raping them and profiting from their rape.

But no, that's crazy talk. Instead, apparently, the only thing that stands as a bulwark between a flood of teenagers deciding to go out and get beaten by pimps so that they can make $100 a night is the threat of arrest. After all, it's working so well now, you know?