CV NEWS FEED // A recent poll showed that 83% of respondents favor a national age verification law to stop online pornography companies from exposing children to smut.
Jon Schweppe, who is the policy director at The American Principles Project (APP), noted that age verification laws are “the most broadly popular ‘culture war’ policy” the conservative organization has “ever seen.”
The RMG Research poll, conducted between August 11 and August 14, asked a sample of registered voters the following question:
To prevent children from the age of 18 from accessing online porn, seven states have passed legislation that requires websites with pornographic content to implement an age verification system or face penalties.
Would you favor or oppose a national version of this age verification law that would apply in all 50 states?
A combined 83% of those polled said they favored the hypothetical national law. Fifty-eight percent of all respondents replied that they “strongly favor” the law, while 25% indicated that they “somewhat favor” it.
By contrast, only a combined 14% were opposed to a national age verification law. Nine percent of the respondents answered “somewhat oppose,” while only 5% said they would “strongly oppose” the law. The remaining 4% of respondents were “not sure.”
APP President Terry Schilling took to X (formerly Twitter) to reply to Mike Stabile, the director of public affairs of the pro-porn Free Speech Coalition (FSC).
Stabile had posted a quotation from PornHub executive Alexzandra Kekeski who claimed that “At some point, the adult industry will be normalized.”
To this, Schilling responded with the poll, adding, “You know what’s mainstream? 83% of Americans supporting age verification.”
Age-verification laws have proved very effective in the handful of states that have already implemented them, causing PornHub, “the YouTube of pornography,” to cease operations in Mississippi, Utah, and Virginia.
Politico reported that users in the states
who attempt to visit the site are greeted with a safe-for-work video of [a porn star], clothed, explaining the site’s decision to pull out of the state.
As the video instructs, some angry porn users have called their legislators, but that has not dimmed the joy of lawmakers. According to Utah state Sen. Todd Weiler, the chief sponsor of Utah’s bill, many of his colleagues are celebrating the improbable and unexpected retreat of the pornography behemoth. Weiler said his colleagues “think it’s hilarious” and have been “high-fiving” each other in boyish triumph.
Earlier this month, CatholicVote noted that the existing age-verification laws at the state level passed by margins that were either unanimous or almost unanimous:
The near-universal popularity of age-verification laws caused Politico to dub them “perhaps the most bipartisan policy in the country.” Indeed, their passage was fully unanimous in two of the seven states with them: Arkansas and Utah.
In mid-2022, Louisiana became the first state in the country to enact such a law. HB 142 passed 36-0 in the state Senate and 96-1 in the state House. The bipartisan bill, which had co-sponsors from both parties, was signed into law by Gov. John Bel Edwards, D-LA.
HB 142 was sponsored by Rep. Laurie Schlegel, R-LA, who is a sex addiction therapist by trade and is, therefore, more than familiar with the harmful effects of the porn industry.