House of Representatives Passes Bill Potentially Punishing Teen Sexting with 15 Years in Prison

As with much of what else the House of Representatives has been doing lately, this bill is easily some of the worst legislation ever passed by any branch of legislature in history. Teenagers engaging in consensual sexting should never have to worry about their lives being anywhere near this ruined for it by the legal system.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill earlier this month that expands the definition of child pornography and the penalties to anyone who takes or distributes sexually suggestive images of a minor.

This is a huge over-reach because those people punished under such a measure could include other minors. After all, we live in an era when many young people walk around with smartphones and voluntarily take or send naked selfies.

The Protecting Against Child Exploitation Act of 2017 (or HR 1761) was passed by the House and would have to get the Senate’s approval to be enacted. It’s time to push back now.

The bill makes no exemption for teen sexting, and the act could impose existing mandatory minimum sentences of 15 years on teenagers who are guilty of nothing more than high-tech flirting.