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These 16 U.S. States Passed Resolutions Recognizing Porn as a Public Health Issue

By May 9, 2019 No Comments

Fight the New Drug is a non-legislative movement, and we support efforts to further educate and raise awareness on the scientifically proven harms of pornography.

Even though we always have been and still are a non-legislative and non-religious anti-porn organization, we want to provide a review of the 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.

Since 2016, 15 states and counting have declared porn a public health crisis:

ArkansasHouse Resolution Passed (2017)

ArizonaHouse Resolution Passed (2019) 

FloridaHouse Resolution Passed (2018)

IdahoHouse Concurring Resolution Passed (2018)

KansasHouse Resolution Passed (2017)

KentuckySenate Resolution Passed (2018)

LouisianaHouse Resolution Passed (2017)

MissouriSenate Concurring Resolution Passed (2018)

MontanaHouse Resolution Passed (2019)

OklahomaHouse Concurring Resolution Passed (2017)

PennsylvaniaHouse Resolution Passed (2018)

South DakotaSenate Concurring Resolution Passed (2017)

TennesseeSenate Joint Resolution Passed (2017)

UtahSenate Concurring Resolution Passed (2016)

VirginiaHouse Resolution Passed (2017) *Unofficial due to Virginia rules on resolutions.

Bonus state: Texas Texas has held a hearing regarding the resolution on the public health harms of pornography on April 24, 2019. We’re waiting to hear if a resolution has been passed.

Why does it matter?

Allow us to explain why we’re on board, even as a non-legislative nonprofit: when a local government chooses to acknowledge pornography as a threat to society, 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.

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. [1] State resolutions are not enforceable by law, but act as a shared expression of concern, support, action, understanding. [1]

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?

A lot of the resolutions sound similar. Below, we took a sample of statements from a few of the resolutions to show you the language that’s used to talk about the issue:

South Dakota

SD SCR4 passed in January 2017 with a unanimous vote. [2][3]

“…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.”

Utah

UT SCR009 was passed March 2016 with a unanimous vote. [4][5]

“…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.”

Virginia

VA HJ549 was passed in February 2017 with an overwhelming majority vote in the House of Delegates. [6][7]

“…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

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.

Related: Virginia & South Dakota Make History, Declare Porn A Public Health Crisis

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.

Fight the New Drug is a non-legislative movement, and we support efforts to further educate and raise awareness on the scientifically proven harms of pornography. 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!

Citations

[1] Resolution. (n.d.). https://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/resolution
[2] South Dakota Unanimously Declared Pornography a Public Health Crisis. (2017, February 2) from http://endsexualexploitation.org/articles/south-dakota-unanimously-declared-pornography-public-health-crisis/
[3] South Dakota lawmakers decry pornography as health risk. (2017, January 24) from https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jan/24/south-dakota-lawmakers-decry-pornography-as-health/
[4] Domonoske, C. (2016, April 20). Utah Declares Porn A Public Health Hazard. From https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/04/20/474943913/utah-declares-porn-a-public-health-hazard
[5] Governor signs anti-pornography bills declaring public health crisis. (n.d.). From https://governorblog.utah.gov/2016/04/governor-signs-anti-pornography-bills-declaring-public-health-crisis/
[6] Virginia lawmaker wants porn declared a public health hazard. (2016, December 30). From https://www.cbsnews.com/news/virginia-lawmaker-wants-porn-declared-a-public-health-hazard/
[7] (n.d.). From http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?171%2Bful%2BHJ549

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