Vermont is the first state in the nation to mandate access to free condoms in middle school and high schools.
This bill was introduced last year by Republican Rep. Topper McFaun in hopes that if teens have access to contraceptives, it could reduce the number of abortions being performed.
The law is now in effect and condoms are now being distributed to schools in the state.
But this law can do much more than lower the rate of abortions.
It can educate students about teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections and diseases and help prevent them.
According to the CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS), in 2019, 30.5% of high school students in the state of Vermont were sexually active.
And 79.2% of those high school students did not use a condom or birth control the last time they had sex. With almost 80% of Vermont high school students not using any form of protection, it raises the question why?
Maybe the students didn’t have money for condoms and didn’t feel comfortable asking adults for help.
Or maybe they aren’t allowed to use birth control and didn’t know how to get it without their parents knowing.
Whatever the situation, having condoms available in a nurse’s office where a student can get them for free in a non-judgmental space can solve and prevent many problems.
People who don’t support this law think it should be the parent’s responsibility to get their children condoms and that sex has no place in school.
But not all kids have parents they are comfortable speaking to about sex.
Some kids may not have parents or any adult to rely on at all.
When looking at reactions on Facebook and Twitter, some believe schools should be teaching students not to have sex and that supplying contraceptives is “sick.”
They also believe that condoms will be placed in bathrooms or will be passed out to students “like candy.”
But they will actually be distributed by specific people chosen by the school, like a nurse, athletic coaches and specific teachers.
And the biggest misconception is that the condoms will encourage sexual behavior.
This new law isn’t meant to corrupt the youth or encourage kids to have sex the moment they get their hands on a condom.
It’s to prevent kids from having kids.
And to prevent the spread of disease.
There is nothing wrong with having an open conversation about sex and making sure teens are going about it safely.
Because let’s be honest, they’re going to do it anyway. And they might as well do it with protection.