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Texas Attorney General Ken PaxtonPhoto by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

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(LifeSiteNews) — A major pornography website has been forced to stop doing business in Texas after a federal court upheld the Lone Star State’s law requiring pornography sites to verify that users are over the age of 18.

Canada-based website Pornhub suspended access to users who reside in Texas after the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on March 7 ruled in favor of Texas’ law requiring age verification for users to protect children from accessing obscene content, The Texas Tribune reported Friday.

“As you may know, your elected officials in Texas are requiring us to verify your age before allowing you access to our website,” a new message to Texas users reads.

READ: Pornography site faces suit from sexual assault victims while court halts age verification law in another case

The company had claimed that obscene, pornographic content is “protected speech” that adults have a “right” to access and that Texas’ law “fails strict scrutiny,” though it did not win over the Fifth Circuit Court.

In its March 7 decision upholding Texas’ age verification rule, the court cited the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1968 decision in Ginsberg v. New York. In Ginsberg, the nation’s highest court held that obscene materials could not be sold to minors, holding that “[o]bscenity is not within the area of protected speech or press” and that restricting materials based upon the age of readers or reviewers was “not constitutionally impermissible.”

Responding to news that Pornhub had suspended access to its site for Texas residents, Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton said “[s]ites like PornHub are on the run because Texas has a law that aims to prevent them from showing harmful, obscene material to children.”

To date, measures like the one implemented in Texas have been highly effective in forcing Pornhub to flee states with conservative leadership.

The site has had to quit doing business in a growing number of Republican-led states, including Arkansas, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, Utah, and Virginia, thanks to laws requiring age verification in recent months.

READ: Major pornography site blocks access in Virginia and Mississippi due to age-verification laws

The statewide moves come as large numbers of American children and teenagers are accessing online pornographic content.

A Common Sense Media report released last year found “73% of teen respondents aged 13 to 17 have watched pornography online — and more than half (54%) reported first seeing pornography by the time they reached the age of 13.” Another study found that “10% of pornography views are by children under the age of 10.”

Lawmakers, religious leaders, and others have consistently raised the alarm about the serious implications of widespread pornography consumption, particularly among young people. To date, more than a dozen states have declared pornography use to be a public health crisis as research demonstrates its negative psychological, social, and physical impacts.

Pornography, which the Catholic Church teaches “offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act” and “does grave injury to the dignity of its participants,” has also been shown to warp the neural pathways of children and adults, contribute to high divorce rates, facilitate the international sex-trafficking industry, and trigger sexual dysfunction and gender confusion.

Meanwhile, age verification laws aren’t the only issue currently plaguing Pornhub.

Pornhub’s parent company Mindgeek (now Aylo) is simultaneously currently facing a class action lawsuit by sexual abuse victims who say their assaults were recorded and trafficked on the pornography sites operated by Aylo, including Pornhub.

In 2022, then-Mindgeek CEO Feras Antoon and COO David Tassillo resigned from their positions after news broke that Pornhub had allowed “sexually explicit nonconsensual videos — including those with children” to exist on the site “for years,” Variety reported.

A trial in the class action suit is scheduled for August 2024.

Tell Congress to shut down Pornhub Send a message today