A bill proposed in the state of California would require public schools to make condoms available to students for free.
The proposal describes the provision of free condoms as a bid to avoid and decrease sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancies.
“By requiring free condoms in all California high schools, we are empowering the youth who decide to become sexually active to protect themselves and their partners from STIs, while also removing barriers that potentially shame them and lead to unsafe sex,” Democratic state Sen. Caroline Menjivar said, according to a press release.
“It should be obvious that more condoms are not the solution. The only sure way to reduce STI rates is to change student sexual activity and the number of sexual partners they have. We have to stop assuming hormonal teens can’t control themselves,” California Family Council director Greg Burt said, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The measure also states that retail stores should not decline to provide nonprescription contraception to individuals on the basis of age unless there are age-based restrictions for the contraception under federal or state law.
“Sometimes condoms are behind the counter, and they [wrongly] ask for ID, or someone might say, ‘No, you’re too young.’ But that’s not going to stop teens from having sex,” Menjivar said, according to the Times. “That’s just going to prevent them from having safe sex.”
“Each public school serving any of grades 7 to 12, inclusive, shall allow the distribution of condoms during the course of, or in connection to, educational or public health programs and initiatives,” the measure also declares.
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