Porn is not the biggest issue

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Emma Daniel

News Editor

According to Alabama legislators, porn is one of the greatest health crises affecting our great state.

The Alabama Senate actually passed a resolution recognizing pornography as a public health emergency.

Alabama is ranked #47 nationally on quality of health. 

Wow, great—we aren’t last.

In my years of following the Legislature, I’ve found Alabama legislators more willing to engage in hypocrisy and posturing when it comes to the health of its people.

If Alabama is supposed to be militantly pro-life, why aren’t we working toward improving the lives of those who already live here and are sick here?

Y’all, never forget: Alabama’s 1901 constitution was literally written to disenfranchise people. 

To this day, Alabama continues to either use sneaky or sly methods and outright disregard the plight of citizens when it comes to public health. 

According to the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Alabama women died from pregnancy and childbirth complications at almost double the national rate.

Many Alabamians have to drive more than 50 miles to get access to a proper labor and delivery unit.

This comes just after Alabama got a hold of itself on infant mortality rates.

(Yet, the infant mortality rate for African-Americans in Alabama remains twice the rate for whites.)

Alabama is also currently considering a medical marijuana bill to let citizens with certain medical conditions use the substance and would provide a laundry list of complex rules and regulations about the sale and use of marijuana.

I predict this bill will not pass, even though thousands of Alabamians have qualifying conditions that would be treated with medicinal marijuana

Marijuana prohibition in Alabama costs the state $22 million keeping people locked up in 2016, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. 

Legislators won’t tell you that African-Americans are four times more likely than white people to be arrested for marijuana possession.

Our prison system is also infamous for being hellish — the Justice Department even said Alabama violated the Eighth Amendment’s “cruel and unusual punishment” clause for the state of its prison system.

Aside from a substantial amount of drugs and weapons, overcrowding and terrible facilities (inspectors even being exposed to raw sewage while touring prisons), the mental health treatment in prison is abysmal, with at least 13 suicides reported in Alabama prisons between December 2017 and February 2019.

Alabama’s overall mental health is ranked at #40, according to Mental Health America.

In 2016, Alabama’s suicide rate was 16.2 per 100,000 people, compared to the national average of 13.9.  

Physical health also seems to have troubling numbers —Alabama citizens have a life expectancy three years shorter than other Americans, and more Alabamians die from cancer and heart disease than the national average.

Hookworm broke out in Lowndes County in 2019 due to contaminated water systems. 

(Companies are also currently allowed to dump toxic sludge into Alabama rivers — that can’t help public health in the slightest.)

Thirteen Alabama hospitals have closed since 2010, leaving many, especially in rural communities, with lacking healthcare. 

The Alabama Hospital Association president has also said the last hospital closing in 2019 will almost certainly not be the end of closures. 

Alabama will seemingly continue to let its public health degrade and degrade until a far worse situation arises.

Legislators will continue to posture and bring attention away from the actual issues affecting Alabamians.

People are dying.

But, God forbid the good people of Alabama are exposed to pornography. 

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