Heritage Action Praises Kansas Bill Protecting Kids Online

Press Releases · Mar 26, 2024

WASHINGTON—Heritage Action, a conservative grassroots organization with two million activists nationwide, including thousands of Kansans, released the following statement from Former Kansas Assistant Secretary of State and Heritage Action Director of State Advocacy Catherine Gunsalus praising SB 394, legislation prohibiting minors from accessing explicit content and requiring adult websites to verify the age of users:

“Almost 80% of underaged teens have stumbled upon adult content online—content that is proven to have negative mental health consequences down the road. SB 394, which shields kids from obscene websites, is a commonsense, bipartisan proposal that should be applauded by all Kansans.

“Heritage Action commends the Kansas Legislature for standing up for children and passing SB 394, which earned bipartisan support in both chambers and passed the Senate unanimously. We urge Governor Kelly to sign this bill, and will implore lawmakers to act to override her if she chooses not to protect Kansas’ children by vetoing.”

According to The Heritage Foundation’s Tech Policy Center, “frequent exposure to pornography at a young age cultivates unhealthy views of sexuality and an inclination toward violent behavior. Children may develop a poor understanding of what constitutes a healthy relationship, what behavior is appropriate or inappropriate, how to establish and maintain boundaries, and the importance of respecting other people’s boundaries.”

Additionally, adolescent exposure to harmful material is often linked to pornography addiction. This addiction can result in dire consequences including mental health issues like anxiety and depression, as well as increases in isolation, anger, and irritability.

A recent poll showed 83% of Americans support age verification laws aimed at pornography. Kansas joins at least eight states in passing age verification legislation similar to SB 394.