Utah is now the first state to declare pornograhpy a public health crisis. Dozens of Utahns passionate about protecting children from the negative effects of pornography packed the Gold Room in the State Capitol Tuesday for the official bill signing. I watched as Governor Herbert introduced a slew of speakers, including SCR9 sponsor Sen. Todd Weiler, as well as advocates and researchers all echoing the same message: pornography is fundamentally damaging to a child’s development. I’m glad to live in the state that is taking the lead on this issue. I’ve been involved with the Utah Coalition Against Pornography since 2015, and I currently sit on their advisory board.
I’m more and more encouraged by the growing movement among early childhood development advocates and researchers to educate about the negative impact pornography use has on children (you can read through some of the research here).
We’ll be looking at what more we can do at the county level to support this effort. One example of a good practice already in place is the internet use policy at our Salt Lake County libraries. Our library system enforces both a Wireless Network Policy and an Internet Access and Computer Use policy which—coupled with filtering on the wireless network—prevent access to content designated as pornography or nudity.
As an elected official and as a mother, I am passionate about protecting our youth from the harmful impacts of pornography. I applaud Sen. Weiler for sponsoring the resolution, and Governor Herbert for signing it.