Senate Judiciary Denounces Pornography a Crisis

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Senate Judiciary Denounces Pornography a Crisis

The modern-day consumption of pornography and the possible negative effects on millennial relationships have raised concern for Arizona lawmakers leading to the possibility of denouncing it a public health crisis.

A bill denouncing pornography a public health crisis was viewed by the Arizona Senate Judiciary on Thursday introduced by Rep. Michelle Udall, R-Mesa who said pornography has detrimental effects on the brain.

Pornography is a social toxin that destroys families, damages children, harms women and breeds violence,” Udall said. “The breadth and depth of pornographies influence on popular culture has created an intolerable situation that infringes on the freedoms and well beings of countless individuals.”

The bill, known as House Concurrent Resolution 2009, was introduced Feb. 7 as a symbolic effect with no legal or fiscal impact, but was opened with hope to lead to further restrictions.

“In light of the mounting evidence of harm documented, it is time that society take action to expose pornography as a public health crisis and protect individuals especially children from the damaging effects of pornography,” Udall said.

In the month since the bill’s creation, Udall said she received several individuals outreach encouraging her to move forward with the bill which has already been viewed by multiple committees and the Arizona House of Representatives.

After the bill’s third House read, the Arizona House of Representatives collected 32 yes votes and 28 no votes for the bill before being transmitted to the Senate on Feb. 26 in which the Senate Judiciary was assigned the first committee to read the bill.

Benjamin Bull, a chairman for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, spoke during the Senate Judiciary’s consideration of the bill about the harm caused by pornography.

I’ve been working on this kind of issue for about 30 years,” Bull said. “As the committees weigh this issue, I ask you just to consider that we are now entering a period it seems to me, where pornography is sexually unacceptable because of the harm it causes women, children and men.”

Bull said one of most significant impacts on society due to pornography is child on child sex abuse due to children mimicking and modeling what they see on the internet.

Today, it’s in everybody’s home and the consequences are profound. If you can hit a button you can access hardcore pornography,” Bull said.

Shortly after Bull spoke, the Senate Judiciary took a vote resulting in five yes votes, one withheld and one no vote coming from Rep. Andrea Dalessandro, D-Green Valley who said the bill as a House Concurrent Resolution is not a serious issue that needs to be addressed immediately.

While I do recognize this as a serious issue and some of my earliest work in the legislature was about human trafficking, I think we also have other serious challenges that we rise to a higher level with opioids and fentanyl deaths,” Dalessandro said.

With the bill receiving a do pass recommendation from the Senate Judiciary, it will now move to the Senate Rules Committee as a continuing part of the Senate’s first read.

The bill’s sponsor, Udall, will continue to present the bill on an unscheduled day in the future saying the importance of denouncing pornography a public health crisis.

As a parent, as an educator and as a legislator, I feel it is so important to bring attention to this crisis,” Udall said during her presentation of the bill to the Senate Judiciary. “We must work together to improve filters and educate parents, youth and the community at large of the detrimental effects of pornography.”

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