|Protecting Children and Families
As a husband and a father, I understand that strong families are the foundation
of a healthy society. Ensuring the health and safety of children, our society's
most innocent and vulnerable members, is one of our deepest moral responsibilities.
That's why I was horrified when I heard the story of young Masha, who was adopted
age five from a Russian orphanage by an American man who proceeded to sexually
abuse her and post disgusting pictures of her on the internet for other sick
predators to download. Masha's tormentor is now in prison, but her images remain
on the internet where they continue to be downloaded by child pornographers.
When I found out that the penalty for downloading music was three
times as severe as the penalty for downloading disgusting images
of children, I was outraged. In January, I stood with Masha at a
press conference sponsored by the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention
of Cruelty to Children and announced my new bill, Masha's Law, which
triples the penalty for downloading perverted images of children
and allows young people 18 and over to sue those who download pornographic
images taken of them when they were children.
I am proud to announce that President Bush signed the Adam Walsh
Child Protection Act, which includes Masha's Law, into law on July
27th. Thanks to Masha's Law, abused children now have far more recourse
to hold their tormentors responsible, and child pornographers will
think twice before they download sickening images of innocent kids.
Masha's Law is a crucial victory in the battle to protect our children
those who would do them harm.
Standing with me in my fight to strengthen the laws against child
predators was the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty
to Children. The MSPCC has been fighting for the children of Massachusetts
for over 120 years, leading efforts to prevent child abuse, strengthen
families, and promote children's health and welfare. In gratitude
for their tireless advocacy for the children of Massachusetts, I
nominated the MSPCC for the Congressional Coalition on Adoption's
"Angels in Adoption" award. The MSPCC has made a huge difference
lives of thousands of children across Massachusetts, and I
am proud to recognize and honor them on Capitol Hill.
Ensuring that our children are taken care of also means ensuring
that their parents have the resources they need to provide for their
families. 86 million working Americans have no paid sick days, and
are therefore forced to choose between caring for their health or
the health of their loved ones and earning a paycheck. In the richest
country in the world, this is unacceptable. That's why I signed
on as a co-sponsor of the Healthy Families Act, which will require
employers to provide paid sick days for their employees so that no
family has to choose between staying healthy and making ends meet.
Children and families are the promise and the legacy of our Commonwealth
and I will continue to fight for their protection and welfare as
I serve you in the Senate.