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Senate proclaims pornography a public health crisis

Arizona Senate Republicans voted Monday to denounce pornography as a public health crisis while Democrats argued doing so trivializes crises including measles, homelessness and the opioid epidemic.

HCR 2009, approved by the Senate on a 16-13 vote, asserts that pornography encourages violence against women, leads to infidelity and eating disorders and can be addictive.

Sen. Sylvia Allen, R-Snowflake, said she supported the measure because pornography is an “epidemic.” It indirectly leads to violence against women and children, sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted children, she said.

“Pornography is rampant. It’s all over our phones and our internet,” she said. “The soul of America is sick in many ways, and it starts with what we put into our minds and into our hearts.”

The resolution passed the House on a nearly party-line vote in February, with all House Republicans and one Democrat, Phoenix Rep. Amish Shah, voting for it. In the Senate, Scottsdale Republican Michelle Ugenti-Rita joined Democrats in voting against the measure.

The legislation has no effect on the law and serves simply as a statement of the Legislature.

Sen. Victoria Steele, D-Tucson, said denouncing pornography won’t make any real changes to how women are treated. All it does is allow lawmakers who voted for it to check a box saying they did something, she said.

“The real issue is not necessarily pornography,” Steele said. “The real issue is around violence against women and toxic masculinity.”

The declaration of a public health crisis should be limited to life-threatening issues like measles outbreaks in several states, Sen. Jamescita Peshlakai added. The AP reported Monday that 764 cases of measles have been diagnosed nationwide in 2019 — the highest number of reported cases since 1994.

Arizona confirmed on measles case in Pima County in March, and another possible Pima County case was reported Wednesday, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

“The public health crisis in the U.S. really needs to be centered right now on the measles epidemic that is striking our country and our state,” Peshlakai said. “We really need to focus on those types of things that are life-threatening and fatal.”

In addition to measles, the state could be declaring homelessness, opioid addiction or youth suicide public health crises before it turns to pornography, Sen. Lisa Otondo said.

“I think there are really a list of other issues that take precedence,” she said.


  1. Really, this is what you are doing……I think border security is tops on the list……i am so disappointed in today’s state elected officials.

  2. This effort at ‘solving’ a non-problem can only eminate from the mindless, Arizona Republican bible humpers. They should be reminded of their gaggle of perverts and sexual abusers within their ranks. In a state that often polls last in any meaningful way, e.g. education, etc. there is a need for more than pablum.

  3. bradley taylor hudson

    I’m just annoyed that our legislators are wasting time and resources while we have major problems to address. We need energy focused on education, protecting democracy and saving the planet. It seems as though we have some people, citizens and/or legislators, with not enough to do with their time. How do people create such nonsense? Legislators who make such propositions should find something worthwhile to do.

  4. So far, 100 percent of the complaints are men.
    Maybe pay attention to the industry. This isn’t just about you getting to see someone’s nipples consensually, porn and sex trafficking go hand-in-hand. It’s the #1 top money maker in crime over drugs and guns. It’s growing in demand for underage youth making age 13 the average age for those sold into sex and media. And, if you’re remembering your math, average means we’re also talking about children UNDER 13. Toddlers-4, 5-12, and then 13- death. Over 100,000 are sold to over 1.4 million men for sex. So, yeah. In order to try chipping away at this horrific scourge on society, this is what’s happening. It likely won’t do **** but it’s, at least, some acknowledgment. Not to mention the marriages that fail apart because of the changes in relationship due to neuroplasticity within what’s expected and desired. Education is a very good point. While the act of viewing someone naked or thrusting may not harm anyone one or once in awhile, the huge demand for millions of people to consume more and more at younger and younger ages in more and more strange and harsh manners, the industry is a problem. The industry is a huge, harmful, and fatal problem for thousands.

  5. WTF what a waste of taxpayers money, vote all those republicans out of office!

  6. People saying that pornography isn’t an epidemic are CLUELESS about teen culture —porn is destroying the lives of teen boys AND girls. Pornculture is what births #rapeculture. The increase of sexual assault amongst tweens & teens has skyrocketed due to the easy consumption of porn by seeing it on phones—the largest group of sexual assault perpetrators are 11–15 yr. old boys!
    Wake up! We all must #endporn. Porn destroys lives.

  7. I’ll be the first male voice saying good job to you Arizona! Are there other problems? Will there ever not be? But the two ladies above are absolutely correct about the teen culture and rape culture being porn fueled.

    It’s a BIGTIME problem (not non-problem) that needs addressing. Research PIED. We’re risking a whole generation of men being not being able to have kids because porn ruined their masculinity when they were boys. It’s not fair to girls and women.

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