Ohio Seeking to Declare Pornography a Public Health Crisis

This week, State Representative Jena Powell (District 80) plans to introduce a resolution to declare pornography a public health crisis in Ohio.  EIE recently reached out to the Rep. Powell in support of her efforts to include Ohio among 13 other states who have already passed similar resolutions in an effort to recognize pornography’s harmful effects on individuals and society, and declare the need for education, research, prevention, and policy change, along with the enforcement of federal obscenity laws.  Here’s what she had to say:|

Why is it important to declare pornography a public health crisis in the state of Ohio?

It is critical to declare pornography a public health crisis in the state of Ohio because we need to bring awareness to the pervasiveness of this addiction in our communities. We live in a time of a pornography epidemic, where young children are exposed and addicted to pornography thus causing a myriad of problematic sexual activity, low self-esteem, contributing to emotional and physical illnesses, negatively impacting brain development, etc.

Ohio is ranked as the fourth worst state in the United States for human sex trafficking. Pornography encourages the devaluation of individuals, women, men, and children, and correlates in an increased demand for sex trafficking, prostitution, and child sexual abuse. This resolution will declare that we encourage families, churches, and businesses on a local level to promote education, prevention, research, and policy changes to confront the proliferation of pornography and human trafficking.

What are the chances of this proposed resolution passing in Ohio?

This is a very bipartisan resolution that helps individuals in the state of Ohio thrive. With the support we’ve already received, we believe that this resolution will not be set aside but will receive the attention and care that it deserves as we highlight the correlations between child pornography, human sex trafficking, and mistreatment of men, women, and children.

Why are you interested in personally taking this on in your state, especially in your first term as representative of Ohio’s 80th District? 

Families are the foundation of our society, and strong families are crucial to human flourishing. I want to see the 80th district and the state of Ohio flourish, and the crime of human sex trafficking and abuse of individuals end. Fighting to bring the evils of pornography into the light is a huge step towards eradicating human trafficking and sexual abuse in our communities. Our district is not far from the highway 70/75 interchange, which is a hotbed for sex trafficking in our state. We cannot turn a blind eye to the injustice happening in our backyard.

What advice would you give to other state leaders who might be considering proposing similar resolutions?

It is common sense that pornography be declared a public health crisis. If we want to see humanity flourish, we have to have a safe society where people can thrive. Pornography has an array of negative effects that hinder society from thriving.

How can Ohio residents show their support for the proposed resolution? 

At the end of the day, fighting pornography comes down to families, churches, businesses, and nonprofits working together to educate, prevent, and change the pornography epidemic in local communities. Ohio residents don’t have to wait for this resolution to pass to start encouraging one another to avoid the harm of pornography and promote internet safety amongst their communities.

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We are so thankful for Rep. Powell’s leadership on this most important issue on behalf of children and families, and urge all states to consider similar legislation.

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