State News

Vermont becomes first state to provide condoms at public schools

Author of the bill cites lowering abortion rates among its goals

Vermont will become the first state in the nation to make free condoms available in public middle and high schools next year. Gov. Scott signed a bill on Oct. 5 that expands access to contraceptives.

Some of the country’s largest school districts have free condoms available, but no other state requires its secondary schools to have them according to the National Coalition of STD Directors.

Barre Republican Rep. Topper McFaun introduced the bill, and said if teenagers have more access to contraceptives and health education, it might lead to a reduction in the number of abortions that are performed.

Vermont’s abortion rate for teens ages 15-19 is about seven per 1,000, lower than the national average.

“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. “And the way to do that is to provide ways to allow people to protect themselves.”

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