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Santorum promises ‘vigorous’ war on porn

By David Edwards
Friday, March 16, 2012 9:42 EDT
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Rick Santorum (Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com)
 
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Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum says that “America is suffering a pandemic of harm from pornography” because the Obama administration favors “pornographers over children.”

In an undated statement on his official website, the former Pennsylvania senator promises that he will “vigorously” fight to make sure porn isn’t easily available in the U.S.

“Pornography is toxic to marriages and relationships,” the statement says. “It contributes to misogyny and violence against women. It is a contributing factor to prostitution and sex trafficking.”

“Current federal ‘obscenity’ laws prohibit distribution of hardcore (obscene) pornography on the Internet, on cable/satellite TV, on hotel/motel TV, in retail shops and through the mail or by common carrier,” the statement continues, adding that these laws should be “vigorously enforced.”

“If elected President, I will appoint an Attorney General who will do so,” Santorum has said.

The statement goes on to claim that the Obama administration has “refused to enforce obscenity laws.”

“While the Obama Department of Justice seems to favor pornographers over children and families, that will change under a Santorum Administration,” the statement declares.

The Chicago Tribune‘s Steve Chapman noted that Santorum was wrong to link pornography to violence against women because since 1991, the prevalence of rape has dropped 86 percent, while obscene material has become more available than ever on the Internet.

In a 2006 study (PDF), Clemson University economist Todd Kendall found that “the arrival of the internet was associated with a reduction in rape incidence.”

“[T]he results suggest that, in contrast to previous theories to the contrary, liberalization of pornography access may lead to declines in sexual victimization of women,” Kendall wrote.

Chapman argued that Santorum might have a case if he tried to link pornography to premarital sex or increased use of contraception.

“Santorum, however, is one of those people who just knows pornography has bad effects, because he finds it morally offensive,” Chapman concluded. “But when reality contradicts your ideology and religious assumptions, it’s wise to reconsider them.”

Photo: Christopher Halloran/Shutterstock.com

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
 
 
 
 
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