Even though we always have been and still are a non-legislative and non-religious anti-porn organization, we want to provide a year-end review of the exciting movement in the United States to shine a light on the research that’s increasingly showing the harmful effects of porn.
It’s important to note that, as an organization, our primary incentive in fighting for love by educating on the harmful effects of porn is not legislation—Fight the New Drug is an all-inclusive, research-driven movement, and relies on science, facts, and personal accounts to fuel our fight. We do, however, consider these state and federal resolutions to be a direct growth representation of the movement to de-normalize porn in our society.
Allow us to explain why we’re on board, even as a non-legislative nonprofit: when a local government chooses to acknowledge pornography as the threat to society that it is, we understand that 1) people are advocating the issue enough to gain the attention of local leaders, and 2) local leaders are equipped to efficiently implement valuable resources (i.e. information, education, awareness, etc.) to further advocate against the threat. See? It’s all about awareness and education, which is what we’re all about.
Since 2016, 5 states and counting have declared porn a public health crisis: Arkansas, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia. And interestingly enough, four of the five were actually declared this year—a 400% increase from the year before. (Side note: at this rate, all 50 states could join the movement by as soon as 2021.)
Related: Why We’re Not Out To Ban Porn
These state-level declarations are formally recognized as state “resolutions,” and act to emphasize state-level opinion and action.  State resolutions are not enforceable by law, but act as a shared expression of concern, support, action, understanding.  When a Governor signs a state resolution to declare pornography an issue of public health concern, they are not banning pornography or punishing its consumers. Instead, they are giving a platform to the research and declaring an emphasis on the issue to develop and promote resources to educate and protect citizens and communities. Pretty cool, right?
Below is a list of states with official state resolutions acknowledging pornography as a public health concern. We’ve included little snippets from the actual resolutions themselves so you can see how this movement for real love is sweeping the nation and being promoted in these states:
Introduced by Rep. Karilyn Brown, AR HR 1042 passed in March 2017 with a unanimous vote. 
“…That the House of Representatives recognize the public health crisis created by pornography and the sexually toxic environment it perpetuates and acknowledge the need for education, prevention, research, and policy change at the community and societal levels in order to address the epidemic that is harming the people of our state and our country as a whole.”
Introduced by Senator Jenna Netherton, SD SCR4 passed in January 2017 with a unanimous vote. 
“…Now, therefore, be it resolved, by the Senate of the Ninety-Second Legislature of the State of South Dakota, the House of Representatives concurring therein, that the Legislature recognizes the public health crisis created by pornography in this state and acknowledges the need for education, prevention, research, and policy change at the community and societal level in order to address the epidemic that is harming the people of our state and our country as a whole.”
Introduced by Senator Mae Beavers, TN SJR35 was passed in June 2016 with an overwhelming majority vote. 
“…Be it resolved by the Senate of the One Hundred and Tenth General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, the House of Representatives concurring, that we recognize that pornography is a public health hazard leading to a broad spectrum of individual and public health impacts and societal harms. Be it further resolved,, that in recognizing the public health crisis created by pornography, the State of Tennessee is acknowledging the need for education, prevention, research, and policy change at the community and societal level in order to address the epidemic that is harming the people of our State and our country as a whole.”
Introduced by Senator Todd Weiler, UT SCR009 was passed March 2016 with a unanimous vote. 
“…Now, therefore, be it resolved that the Legislature of the state of Utah, the Governor concurring therein, recognizes that pornography is a public health hazard leading to a broad spectrum of individual and public health impacts and societal harms. Be it further resolved that the Legislature and the Governor recognize the need for education, prevention, research, and policy change at the community and societal level in order to address the pornography epidemic that is harming the people of our state and nation.”
Introduced by Delegate Robert G. Marshall, VA HJ549 was passed in February 2017 with an overwhelming majority vote in the House of Delegates. 
“…Resolved by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, that the General Assembly recognize pornography as a public health hazard leading to a broad spectrum of individual and public health impacts and societal harms; and, be it resolved further, that the General Assembly recognizes the need for education, prevention, research, and policy change at the community and societal level in order to address the pornography epidemic that is harming the people of the Commonwealth and the nation.”
Why This Matters
And waves of change aren’t happening only those states, either. We’re excited to say that these state legislatures are also reviewing similar resolutions: Florida, Georgia, Missouri, South Carolina, and West Virginia, with more on the way!
Keep in mind, again, these are resolutions, not bills. Contrary to many people’s initial thoughts when hearing about this piece of legislation, the resolution has never proposed to ban or restrict pornography in any way, but to simply recognize it as an issue that needs resources for education and awareness on its harmful effects. Rather than taking away adults’ rights to consume porn, the resolutions put these states better positions to promote the science and research that show porn’s negative effects on individuals, relationships, and society. The goal of these resolutions is to limit the spread of this national porn issue we are experiencing, similar to when our country controlled access to tobacco and advertising for it when evidence began showing it was harmful.
Our mission has always been to decrease the demand for porn by helping people understand the facts about how harmful it is. We’ve always believed that if people truly understood the harms of pornography, they would choose not to support it, and that’s why these educational and awareness-raising resolutions are such awesome news.
If you’re interested in getting involved with passing a resolution in your state, reach out to our friends at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation for more info!
What YOU Can Do
Congratulate all these states with passed and pending resolutions, and encourage other states to follow suit. SHARE this article to spread the word on the harms of pornography in society.
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