NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A cross-country push for porn reform has made its way to Tennessee, and supporters hope the bill will slow human trafficking.
It’s a billion dollar industry, brought to the forefront in Tennessee.
Back in March, Senator Mae Beavers deemed pornography a public health crisis.
Now one group traveling the country hopes for more action.
“Oh my goodness, this has assaulted an entire generation,” said Jessica Neely, supporter of the Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation Prevention Act. “Every single part of our lives have been regulated and legislated to protect children, but the internet.”
Neely knows all too well of the porn industry’s effect.
“I was raped. I spiraled into the pornography industry,” she explained. “I took over an adult website, and became a producer for pornography. In 2008, my family found out and disowned me.”
Now nine years later, Neely has since undergone rehab, and this month she spent time in Nashville pushing for the new legislation.
“I looked it over, studied it on YouTube,” said Neely. “Went to my family and said, ‘What do you think about this? I’m about to attach myself to this.’”
The act would make it mandatory for online content providers to place a filter on pornographic material.
To remove the filter, the consumer must prove they’re over the age of 18 and pay $20.
The money could be used at the state’s discretion. Neely recommends it goes toward rehab for human trafficking victims.
“It would go to fund programs to re-enter [society], to being a functioning part of society,” said Neely.
Supporters said the reasoning behind the act is that if you affect the demand for porn, the human trafficking industry would dip as well.
“You understand that there is a secondary impact,” said Neely. “You understand that your life, or somebody else’s life, will be impacted by the choice you’re about to make.”
Neely and the author of the act met with lawmakers earlier this month and hope to find a sponsor.