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    ‘America Is Sick’: Arizona Senate Declares Pornography a Public Health Crisis

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    On Monday, Arizona Senate Republicans adopted a measure labeling pornography an addictive and dangerous public health crisis while also approving a resolution advising the development of porn-recovery programs.

    With a 16 to 13 vote, Arizona Senators passed House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) 2009, which declares pornography a "crisis leading to a broad spectrum of individual and public health impacts," including, but not limited to, human trafficking, violence against women, infidelity and child pornography.

    "Pornography is rampant. It's all over our phones and our internet," Republican Senator Sylvia Allen told the Arizona Capitol Times Monday. "The soul of America is sick in many ways, and it starts with what we put into our minds and into our hearts."

    The bill, introduced by Republican lawmakers and passed by the Arizona House of Representatives in February, claims porn is to blame for a recent uptick in mental illnesses and a decrease in marriage and monogamy. It also claims pornography normalizes violence against women.

    Senator Victoria Steele (D), however, called the bill ineffective and half-baked.

    "This bill, on its face, sounds like it might be a good idea, but it doesn't have any teeth," Steele asserted on the Senate floor Monday. "It won't result in any changes. It is a way for people to check off that box and make it look like they've done something." 

    While pornography can include aggressive scenes and distort how women are viewed by the audience, Steele said, violence against women and toxic masculinity should be the issues the legislative body is addressing, and chalking that all up to porn addictions isn't helpful.

    Democrats in the Arizona Senate also claimed the declaration makes a mockery of fatal illnesses and issues that actually need immediate attention such as measles, the opioid epidemic and homelessness.

    Despite vaccine availability, Arizona state health officials confirmed a measles case in Pima County back in March. Additionally, AZ Central reported an out-of-state traveler exposed countless Arizonans to the virus as recently as April 29. 

    "The public health crisis in the US really needs to be centered right now on the measles epidemic that is striking our country and our state," Senator Jamescita Peshlakai argued on the floor. "We really need to focus on those types of things that are life-threatening and fatal."

    Despite the numerous links between porn and mental, emotional and physical impacts asserted within the bill, it offers little assistance in providing a solution aside from advising future education and recovery programs. 

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    Tags:
    opioid crisis, Child Porn, Child Pornography, opioid addiction, addiction, homelessness, mental health, pornography, child abuse, vaccine, measles, human trafficking, porn, trafficking, United States, Arizona
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