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Utah bill would require ‘warning label’ to be attached to porn

'Exposing minors to pornography is known to the state of Utah to cause negative impacts to brain development, emotional development, and the ability to maintain intimate relationships.'
Fri Feb 7, 2020 - 2:06 pm EST
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Utah's State Capitol Building in Salt Lake City houses the chambers of the Utah State Legislature, and the offices of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor. Shutterstock.com

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, February 7, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A bill introduced into the Utah legislature would require pornographic content distributed in the state to come with a “warning label.”

According to the proposed House Bill 243, the warning label would say: “Exposing minors to pornography is known to the state of Utah to cause negative impacts to brain development, emotional development, and the ability to maintain intimate relationships. Such exposure may lead to harmful and addictive sexual behavior, low self-esteem, and the improper objectification of and sexual violence towards others, among numerous other harms.”

The warning label would have to be displayed for 15 seconds prior to “the display of any video or each image which includes” pornographic material as defined by state law. Similarly, for printed material, the warning is to be placed “in clear, readable type on the cover” of each publication containing pornography.

Sponsored by Republican Representative Brady Brammer, House Bill 243 arranges for a penalty of up to $2,500 in case of violation.

Jake Roberson, director of communications for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, called the development in Utah “very encouraging.”

In 2016, Utah had declared pornography a public health crisis. According to the resolution signed by Governor Gary Herbert, pornography “perpetuates a sexually toxic environment,” contributes “to the hypersexualization of teens, and even prepubescent children, in our society,” and “treats women as objects and commodities for the viewer’s use.”

Additionally, the resolution pointed out how pornography normalizes violence and abuse, while at the same time impacting the development and functioning of the viewer’s brain. The resolution mentioned societal consequences of the use of pornography, for instance, a lessening desire of young men to marry, a greater dissatisfaction within marriage, and infidelity.

Utah officially recognized 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.”

With that in mind, Roberson told LifeSiteNews, a law requiring a warning label to be attached to pornographic material would only be the “natural outgrowth” of the resolution. “We think it would be negligent of them not to take this step,” he said.

Referring to the practice of attaching warning labels to tobacco products and alcoholic beverages, Roberson described the effort in Utah as a similar initiative, saying: “It’s an important step on the path towards protecting people from the inherent harms” of pornography.

Roberson stated he was “hopeful” that the bill, which was introduced on February 4, 2020, would go through.

While the National Center on Sexual Exploitation is currently unaware of any efforts to attach a warning label to pornography in other states, more than a dozen already followed in the footsteps of Utah when the Beehive State first declared pornography as a public health crisis in 2016.

With more and more legislatures recognizing the dangers of porn, one of the largest providers of pornography, Pornhub, is sending some of its performers to take part in Fashion Week in New York City.

According to a short article published by the New York Post, the porn actresses will participate in the presentation of a collection called “Herotica.” The designers claim the performers supplied by Pornhub “are a feminist statement,” explains the newspaper.

One of the designers is quoted as saying, “The cosmos of sexual pleasure has been restricted to a few boring and chauvinistic narratives for the pleasure of the male gaze. Porn isn’t something existentially male. Most women just have been excluded from determining the narrative.”

The communications director for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation criticized this move, saying, “Pornhub trying to position itself as a feminist organization is really, really problematic and just not factual.”

Roberson pointed out that Pornhub, through its content, actually degrades and abuses women.

In early January 2020, a producer of pornography was sentenced to pay almost $13 million to 22 women for fraud. The Los Angeles Times reported that two website owners and one actor were sued by 22 women who claimed they were deceived and coerced into making explicit sex films without knowing the images would be posted on the internet.”

Talking to LifeSiteNews, Roberson asked, “Why did Pornhub continue to host and feature” content of that company “on its website while there were lawsuits against it for trafficking, abusing, and manipulating women?”

When the lawsuit reached its conclusion in January, Benjamin Bull, Director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation Law Center, declared that no amount of money can account for the damage caused by the porn producer, “but this trailblazing lawsuit cuts a path that can now be followed by advocates for other survivors of horrific abuses inflicted by the pornography industry.”

Bull was convinced that there would be many more lawsuits following the one in San Diego – a fact he called “a very good thing.” He added, “The lawsuit also has immense value in shining the light of public scrutiny on what is a common place practice of abusing young women by pornography companies.”


  brady brammer, gary herbert, pornography, utah house bill 243

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