Vermont Now Requires Free Condoms in Public Middle and High Schools
The law was created to reduce unintended teen pregnancies and the transmission of STDs
By Samantha Ibrahim
Nov 10, 2021
The state of Vermont made history when it became the first to require all public middle and high schools to give students access to free condoms.
The law states that contraceptives must be “readily accessible” to students in grades 7 to 12 via school administrators and nurses.
Rep. Topper McFaun first introduced the bill and it was signed into law by Gov. Phil Scott in 2020. It recently completed rollout in schools, local station NBC News 5 reported.
“In order to prevent or reduce unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, each school district shall make condoms available to all students in its secondary schools, free of charge,” the bill read at the time. “At a minimum, condoms shall be placed in locations that are safe and readily accessible to students, including the school nurse’s office.”
The aim to introduce free condoms in schools stemmed from a 2019 Vermont Youth Risk Behavior Survey that showed that 40% of high schoolers are sexually active and only half are using rubbers.
…Despite this shift in public school health education, not everyone is too happy with the law, like Sharon Toborg, a policy analyst for the Vermont Right to Life Committee who has been opposed to the legislation.
“I think perhaps Representative McFaun has good intentions,” Toborg told Vermont Public Radio. “But the reality is that when you encourage sexual activity among young kids, and treat it as normal and acceptable for 12-year-olds to be engaging in sexual activity, you are creating an atmosphere that will lead to more sexual activity and more unintended pregnancies.”