Free condoms? A mistaken solution to STD epidemic

Free condoms? A mistaken solution to STD epidemic

Free condoms? A mistaken solution to STD epidemic

The efforts of California legislators to correct the spread of STDs among students failed once before. Yet, a pro-choice state senator has again proposed legislation that is almost certain to fail again.

SB 954 would mandate that every public school in California "make internal and external condoms available to all pupils in grades 9 to 12, inclusive, free of charge." It specifies each school shall make condoms available by placing them in at least two locations on school grounds "where the condoms are easily accessible to pupils during school hours without requiring assistance or permission from school staff."

The purpose of the measure, as stated, is "to prevent and reduce unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections."

Greg Burt, vice president of California Family Council, reports the state is dealing with a sexual disease epidemic. He says a report from 2020 shows a 320% increase in syphilis and a 190% increase in gonorrhea in the last ten years.

Burt, Greg (California Family Council) Burt

"When you hand out condoms, you send a signal to kids that sex outside of marriage – promiscuity – can be safe if you just use a condom. That's just not proving to be true," he tells AFN, "and when it's done with multiple partners, disease spreads."

The family advocate argues that years of comprehensive sex education in the Golden State have proven to be unsuccessful.

"California passed something called the Healthy Youth Act in 2015, which mandates comprehensive sex education in every school – and so every school has to push condoms on their kids," he explains. "Now, we have an epidemic on our hands. It's obviously not working."

Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed similar legislation last year because of the cost. This year the bill's sponsor, Democratic State Senator Caroline Menjivar, wants Planned Parenthood to cover the cost. If passed, the legislation would become effective on or before the start of the 2025-26 school year.