Resolution says pornography is a public health hazard

HELENA - A Montana lawmaker is asking for support for an anti-pornography resolution.

House Resolution 5 says pornography increases sex trafficking of women and children as well as child abuse. 

This resolution is a statement of support from Representative Jessica Karjala that she says could lead to some kind of executive action to enforce laws prohibiting sexual violence and prostitution.  

The resolution also expresses that pornography is a public health hazard that must be addressed through education, prevention, research, and policy change. Representative Jessica Karjala brought forth the resolution and says one of her goals is to apply stronger enforcement of our existing obscenity laws.

She claims that what is available on the internet now is not what use to be available prior to internet pornography. 

“What we would have looked at prior to now would have been called soft core porn now. Maybe has an aesthetic quality to it, whereas now what we’re witnessing now are crimes of rape and sexual assault, brutality against women and children. And I hope that people recognize that’s hardly a participatory enterprise that it does contribute to human trafficking in that regard,” said Rep. Karjala, a Democrat from Billings. 

Rep. Karjala hopes this resolution will get bipartisan support, but says there are some people who might think this will impede upon First Amendment rights.

Karjala says she doesn't think the First Amendment applies because her statement is a resolution, not a change to Montana law.

This resolution will be heard in the House Human Services Committee at 3 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon. 

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