NEW YORK - Every high school and middle school in Vermont will now provide free condoms to students under a new law.
The law reads that condoms need to be placed in locations that are safe and readily accessible to students, including the school nurse’s office.
Republican Gov. Phil Scott signed the bill into law on Oct. 5, 2020.
A 2019 survey by the state's health department found that nearly a third of high school students are sexually active, but of those students, only 32% report regularly using condoms.
Republican Rep. Topper McFaun, who introduced the bill, told Vermont Public Radio that the aim of this legislation is to allow students to protect themselves and reduce the number of abortions that are happening.
“I’m talking about allowing people to be in the position where they don’t have to make the decision, that crucial decision, to have an abortion or not — that’s what I’m trying to prevent,” McFaun said.
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A 2018 study in the American Journal of Health Promotion found that making condoms freely available to students does not increase sexual behavior, but does increase condom use among sexually active students.
Not everyone is in favor of the plan. The Vermont Right to Life Committee cited the bill as one of the "dangerous new proposals" that has "potential to increase abortion rates in Vermont."
Nationally, 7.2% of high schools and 2.3% of middle schools provide condoms to students, according to the CDC.
Vermont will be the first state to require that schools provide condoms to students though, the National Coalition of STD Directors told Vermont Public Radio.
The law is set to go into effect on July 1st.
With Fox News reporting.