Students from the seventh grade onward in Vermont public schools will now by law have access to free condoms on demand, according to a new state statute.
The statute, similar to a law recently enacted in the city of Chicago, reads, in part: "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."
"School district administrative teams, in consultation with school district nursing staff, shall determine the best manner in which to make condoms available to students," the Vermont statue reads.
"At a minimum, condoms shall be placed in locations that are safe and readily accessible to students, including the school nurse’s office."
However, many parents and watchdog orginizations have criticized the move strongly for various reasons. According to the Daily Wire, Mary Beerworth, the Executive Director of the Right to Life Committee of Vermont, stated:
"Parents have no idea that bowls of condoms are going to be placed potentially in the nurse's office and potentially in the bathroom. We're concerned it's a subtle endorsement of early sexual activity."
Beerworth continued, mentioning that she doesn't think that teenagers are old enough to use contraception properly and wisely, saying: "A lot of young girls I know who had abortions under age 18, just forgot to take the pill."
Sharon Toborg, also of the Vermont Right to Life Committee, similarly commented that "parents' rights continue to be denied by those who provide abortions and contraceptives to children without parental knowledge."
"Currently, in my local school district, the Barre Unified Union School District, condoms are available to students in grades 7 – 12, but parents can opt their children out. H.663 would deny parents this right. Our Legislature and our schools should respect parents' rights, not eliminate them," Toborg said.
Back in April, in the state of Vermont, anyone over the age of 16 who identifies as black, indigenous, or a person of color was made eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine. While only white people who are over the age of 50 were deemed eligible.