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With more teens “sexting,” should we abandon child pornography laws?

Do minors have a First Amendment right to take and distribute sexually explicit photos of themselves? The answer is no, according to a 6-3 ruling by the Washington State Supreme Court.

A 17-year-old in Spokane was charged with and convicted of “dealing in depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct” under state law after he texted a picture of his erect genitalia to a 22-year-old woman. Arguing that the First Amendment guarantees his right to express himself by sending sexually explicit images of himself to others, he appealed to the Washington State Supreme Court after the appeals court affirmed the trial court’s decision.

Astonishingly, the ACLU and supposed children’s rights organizations Columbia Legal Services and TeamChild filed a brief to the court on behalf of the 17-year-old defendant. In their brief, the organizations argued that the court’s ruling would “jeopardize thousands of minors across the state by criminalizing increasingly common and normative adolescent behavior [using phones to distribute sexually explicit pictures of minors].”

To some extent, the ACLU and their friends are right. Children shouldn’t be forced to register as a sex offender simply because they voluntarily took pictures of their genitalia and consensually swapped it with someone from school (most of the time, law enforcement show no interest in pursuing such offenses). There exists a significant difference between an adult distributing pornographic images of minors, a high school boy sending pictures of his naked minor girlfriend to his friends, and a high school student texting lewd photos of him- or herself to someone he or she knows. Our state laws should be updated to reflect the growing phenomenon of sexting, a practice that wasn’t even technologically possible decades ago when these child pornography laws were enacted.

On the other hand, states have the legal authority and moral responsibility to criminalize the distribution of sexually explicit images of minors. It makes no difference that sexting has become “increasingly common and normative adolescent behavior.” That the practice is becoming increasingly prevalent is all the more reason to make clear that such behavior will not be tolerated.

Indeed, the same reasoning used by the ACLU and their friends is often also used by those who promote the distribution of birth control and prophylactics to high school students. “The kids are already having sex,” they say, “so we should ensure that they can have consequence-free safe sex.” But this logic was proven faulty by a study published this summer in The Journal of Health Economics showing that pregnancy rates fell by over 40% after cuts were made to contraceptive-based sexual education programs in England.

Minors who practice sexting are simultaneously engaging in distributing and possessing child pornography. Washington State has rightly criminalized this behavior. Although our laws should be modified to recognize the reality of voluntary consensual sexting among youths, we shouldn’t abandon the prohibition on (and penalties for) child pornography merely because more children are engaging in it. If anything, the sexting epidemic only proves that these laws are needed now more than ever.

Spokane Public Schools Consider Using Planned Parenthood Sex-Ed Curriculum

Spokane Public Schools district board members were scheduled to vote on a proposal last month that would implement a sexual education curriculum developed by Planned Parenthood. Although the vote was postponed following significant community backlash, the curriculum may still be adopted when the school board meets again this fall.

The “Get Real” curriculum emphasizes sexuality from a perspective of gender fluidity. It also represents a significant conflict of interest.

“The organization who makes this material stands to benefit when young people are sexually active and when they need abortions,” John Repsold, a member of HGDCAC, told The Spokesman-Review.

Despite the district’s decision to delay the vote, it remains likely that Planned Parenthood’s curriculum will be used to educate the youth of Spokane come September. Repsold expects only three of the committee’s 15 members will vote against the new program.

One member of the Human Growth and Development Citizens Advisory Committee (HGDCAC), which provides guidance to Spokane Public Schools on issues of sexuality, is Rachel Todd, an education director at Planned Parenthood.

Spokane children aren’t the only targets of Planned Parenthood educational programs. The nation’s largest abortion corporation is also one of the most prominent distributors of sexual education materials. Furthermore, Planned Parenthood intends to begin establishing clinics inside public schools, starting with Reading, PA.

Planned Parenthood has used its access to children and teens to sexualize them in ways that can only be described as child abuse. Its sexual education materials encourage masturbation, pornography use, sexual experimentation,  promiscuous sex, and alternative sexual lifestyles (see video below).

In 2014, Live Action published undercover footage showing Planned Parenthood employees teaching 15-year-old girls how to engage in violent and otherwise perverted forms of sexual activity. The lessons included bondage sex, torture sex, nipple clamps, horse whips, flogging, choking during sex, urinating and being urinated on during sex, defecating and being defecated on during sex, double penetration, pornography consumption, how to hide porn use from parents, pretending her boyfriend is a dog or a horse, being “punished” by her boyfriend, toddler fetishes and numerous other dangerous and dehumanizing sexual perversions.

It is unsurprising that Planned Parenthood teaches kids these things. Their business model depends on widespread sexual immorality in order to increase demand for their sex-related products. Planned Parenthood acquires lifelong customers when they expose children to these behaviors at a young age.

Yet the Spokane public school district is still considering bringing Planned Parenthood’s sexual education curriculum into the classroom.

Planned Parenthood is a billion-dollar abortion corporation that seeks to warp our children’s views of sex.  They simply cannot be allowed access to students.


It is incumbent upon us all to do something. Please contact the following Spokane Public School administrators to voice your displeasure with their decision (as always, please be respectful in your communication):

Deanna Brower (Board President): DeanaBrower@spokaneschools.org

Susan Chapin (Board Vice President): SusanChapin@spokaneschools.org

Jerrall Haynes (Board co-legislative Liaison): JerrallHaynes@spokaneschools.org

Paul Schneider (Board Co-Legislative Liaison): PaulSchneider@spokaneschools.org

Michael Wiser (Board Member): MikeWiser@spokaneschools.org

Shelley Redinger (District Superintendent): ShelleyR@spokaneschools.org

Temira Hatch (HGDCAC Chair): temira@northtowninsurance.com

Hershell Zelman (HGDCAC Immediate Past Chair): (509)-747-2234

Sasha Carey (HGDCAC Member): Sashadaniel@hotmail.com

Ian Sullivan (HGDCAC Member): Ian@OdysseyYouth.org

John Andes (Chase Middle School Principal): JohnAnd@spokaneschools.org

Robert Reavis (Garry Middle School Principal): RobertR@spokaneschools.org

Kim Halcro (Glover Middle School Principal): KimHal@spokaneschools.org

Jeremy Ochse (Sacajawea Middle School Principal): JeremyO@spokaneschools.org

Carole Meyer (Salk Middle School Principal): CaroleM@spokaneschools.org

John Swett (Shaw Middle School Principal): JonS@spokaneschools.org

Ken Schutz (Ferris High School Principal): KenS@spokaneschools.org

Marybeth Smith (Lewis & Clark High School Principal): marybethsm@spokaneschools.org

Steve Fisk (North Central High School): SteveF@spokaneschools.org

Lisa Mattson (On Track Academy Principal): LisaMat@spokaneschools.org

Lori Wyborney (Rogers High School Principal): LoriWy@spokaneschools.org

Julie Lee (Shadle Park High School Principal): JulieL@spokaneschools.org

Cindy McMahon (The Community School Principal): CindyMc@spokaneschools.org


James Silberman is a guest contributor to the FPIW Blog. He is a pro-life activist from Gig Harbor, WA, and a student at Whitworth University.