Porn Is 'Public Health Hazard,' Says Utah Governor

Symbolic resolution seeks to raise awareness of "the pornography epidemic that is harming the citizens of Utah and the nation"

Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert will sign a largely symbolic resolution declaring pornography a "public health hazard." Credit: Cayve Clifford/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert will sign a new resolution declaring pornography a "public health hazard," CNN reports.

The S.C.R. 9 resolution claims pornography leads to "a broad spectrum of individual and public health impacts and societal harms." The new bill calls pornography an "epidemic" and calls for "education, prevention, research, and policy change" that will clamp down on pornographic websites in Utah and in the United States, according to the bill.

The resolution expresses concerns over a variety of issues related to the "potential detrimental effect on pornography's users," saying it "can impact brain development and functioning, contribute to emotional and medical illnesses, shape deviant sexual arousal and lead to difficulty in forming or maintaining intimate relationships, as well as problematic or harmful sexual behaviors and addiction." The bill says pornography also "normalizes violence and abuse of women and children."

S.C.R. 9 is accompanied by another bill, H.B. 155, which targets child pornography by requiring computer technicians to report any illegal activity they come across during their course of work. Failure to do so would be a class B misdemeanor. The law stipulates that internet providers are not liable if they "report child pornography in compliance with specified federal law."

Neither resolutions call for the government to enforce a ban on pornography. Rather, they are designed to raise awareness among about the addictive habits of pornography that are allegedly "harmful to our society," said John Cox, a spokesperson for the governor.