Kansas became the thirteenth state to enact age verification legislation on April 25, joining Alabama, Idaho, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Utah, Montana, North Carolina, Virginia, Mississippi, Arkansas and Texas in requiring pornography companies to check the ages of their online consumers.

Described by Politico as “perhaps the most bipartisan laws in the country,” age verification laws empower parents to protect their children online by making it harder for kids to access harmful content like pornography.

“Sexually explicit content is harming our children and resulting in a mental health crisis,” Family Foundation of Kentucky explains their support of Kentucky House Bill 241. “We need these bills to help us to protect them.

Sixteen more states  hope to pass age verification laws this year. Most of the bills follow the policy recommendations laid out by the Institute for Family Studies (IFS) and the Ethics and Public Policy Center (EPPC) in 2022:

  • They require companies who publish a “substantial” amount of adult content — usually 1/3 or more of their total production — to check the age of every person accessing their website.
  • They create a way for parents to sue pornography companies if their kids access content they shouldn’t.

Some states have also added age restrictions to social media — another one of IFS and EPPC’s recommended policies. House Bill 3 in Florida will prevent children under 14-year-old from creating social media accounts, and require 14- and 15- year-olds to get parental consent before making an account.

Governor Ron DeSantis signed HB 3 into law on March 25th.

Still other bills, like Oklahoma HB 3097, would force pornography companies to honor parents’ request to prevent certain phones, laptops and internet modems from accessing their obscene website.

Other bills, like House Bill 295 in Ohio, create way for the state to prosecute pornography companies who fail to follow the age verification rules. HB 295 would allow Ohio’s Attorney General to charge companies who fail to check users’ age with a third-degree felony, in addition to civil penalties. The bill would make using a fake-ID to fool age verification tech a misdemeanor.

While not perfect, age verification laws greatly restrict the amount of porn young people can consume. After Louisiana became the first state to pass such legislation in 2022, traffic to Pornhub.com from that state dropped by 80%, one spokesperson told IFS.

Scroll below to see which states have active age verification bills. To find out more about age verification and parents’ rights legislation in your state, contact your local Focus on the Family-allied Family Policy Council.

 

States in blue have introduced pornography age verification laws. Graphic courtesy of Free Speech Coalition

 

ALASKA
HB 254: passed the House on April 26; referred to Senate Judiciary Committee on May 6.

ARIZONA
HB 2586 vetoed by Governor on April 8.
SB 1125: passed the Senate; read in House for a second time on February 26.

ALABAMA
HB 164 became law on April 24.

CALIFORNIA
AB 3087: passed House; referred to Senate on May 16.

DELAWARE
HB 265: five amendments introduced in House on May 14.

FLORIDA
HB 3 became law on March 25.

GEORGIA
HB 910: read by the Senate for a second time on March 14.

IDAHO
HB 498 became law on March 21.

ILLINOIS
HB 4247: re-referred to referred to House Rules Committee on April 5.
SB 2590: referred to Senate Assignments Committee on October 18, 2023.

INDIANA
SB 17 became law on March 13.

IOWA
HB 2546: placed on House Judiciary Committee Calendar on February 15.
SB 2227: heard in Senate Technology Subcommittee on February 12.
HB 2051: passed out of House Judiciary Subcommittee January 23.

KANSAS
SB 394 became law without the Governor’s signature on April 25.

KENTUCKY
HB 241: referred to House Committee on Committees on January 11.

MISSOURI
HB 1993: passed out of the House Rules Committee on April 3.

MICHIGAN
HB 5009: referred to House Committee on Energy, Communications and Technology in September 2023.

NEBRASKA
Online Age Verification Liability Act became law on April 16.

NEW JERSEY
AB 4146referred to Science, Innovation and Technology Committee on April 4.

OHIO
SB 212: referred to Senate Financial Institutions and Technology Committee on January 24.
HB 295: referred to House Criminal Justice Committee on October 24, 2023.

OKLAHOMA
HB 3097: passed out of Senate Judiciary Committee on April 2. 
SB 1960: referred to Senate Business and Commerce Committee on February 6.

PENNSYLVANIA
HB 2143Re-referred to House Judiciary Committee on April 9.

SOUTH CAROLINA
HB 3426: referred to House Judiciary Committee on January 10.

TENNESSEE
SB 1643: passed Senate on May 9; awaiting governor’s signature.

WISCONSIN
AB 730 failed on April 15.