Tuesday, April 19, 2016 in the historic Gold Room in the historic Utah State Capitol history was made. For the first time ever a state body signed a resolution stating that pornography is a public health crisis. Because of the boldness and honesty of this resolution and the backing by medical experts and groups who have studied pornography it was a statement to the world that pornography is not just some other activity like gardening or painting, it has health risks that need to be known; especially because they can effect children in such a devastating way.

The resolution was talked about on “The View” television program, in a recent front page article of TIME Magazine, as well as many other national and international talk and news programs. Even when we, The Worldwide Organization for Women [WOW], were at the United Nations this year multiple people from other nations talked to us about the resolution and showed approval. At the CSW [Conference on the Status of Women] conference leaders of an organization from Africa told us “it is about time someone points out that pornography leads to violence against women.”

In the press conference and public signing on Utah capitol hill, Clay Olsen of “Fight the New Drug” said that he has received letters from boys and girls stating that they have learned accept violence against women because of exposure to pornography.

Dawn Hawkins, president of The National Center of Sexual Exploitation, said that a “pandemic of harm” is caused by porn. She said the porn industry furthers sexual exploitation.

Dr. Brian Willoughby, a relationship expert and BYU professor, talked about his research and corresponding research on the damaging effects of pornography sighting that it has been proven that pornography exposure at young ages links to “lower mental health.”

The sponsor of the resolution, Senator Todd Weiler, said that calling porn damaging to health is no different than declaring smoking damaging to health. He sighted how cigarettes used to be available in vending machines until the true dangers and addictive qualities were made known at which time protections for children were put into place, and now the same needs to happen for pornography.

The pornography industry is very lucrative. Pamela Atkinson, chair of UCAP, said that the latest data shows the porn industry makes 14 billion dollars annually.

This truly was an historic day! WOW was happy to be part of promoting this resolution this year on Utah’s capitol hill and plans to continue to promote this type of awareness about pornography to help protect children and families from the harms  to conscience, health, and familial happiness that have been proven to occur when pornography is present in the home.

Written by Nicholeen Peck, President of The Worldwide Organization for Women.