Republicans Have Finally Found a Public Health Crisis They Can Get Behind, And It's Ridiculous

Threats to Americans' well-being abound—Zika, Flint’s water crisis, rising gun violence—but the one that made the list for the GOP came out of left field. The 2016 GOP delegates declared pornography a public health crisis in an amendment to the draft platform for the upcoming 2016 Republican convention.


The amendment was successfully proposed to a platform subcommittee on Monday morning by Mary Frances Forrester of North Carolina. According to a CNN report, the provision states:

“The internet must not become a safe haven for predators. Pornography, with its harmful effects, especially on children, has become a public health crisis that is destroying the life of millions.”

In an interview with the Guardian following the vote, Forrester said, “We know how big of a problem it is. It is an insidious epidemic, and everyone knows that and that is not a controversy.” Neither this interview nor the platform text offered no indication of who these millions are, or information on exactly which aspects of our health porn is currently destroying (sprained wrists, anyone? Or that old rumor about blindness back in fashion?).

This isn’t the first time Republicans have tried to add anti-porn measures to their convention party platform, but 2008’s focused specifically on preventing the spread of child porn, and encouraged stronger enforcement of existing child protection laws rather than labeling an entire industry as an affront to Americans’ health.

Meanwhile, according to an FBI report, 8,124 people were killed by guns in 2014, and if the rash of recent shootings is any indication, 2016 is not far behind. After the massacre in Orlando, the American Medical Association declared gun violence a public health issue, and will, as NPR reported in June, “actively lobby Congress to overturn 20-year-old legislation blocking research on gun violence by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention." The Republican party, however, would rather concentrate on your sex life.

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