Free condoms are being mailed to teens in California by the California Family Health Council. The condoms are being provided as part of a program called the Condom Access Project, which provides free condoms to California residents between the ages of 12 and 19.
The program includes an website where teens can confidentially order up to 10 condoms, once per month, for free. The condoms are then mailed to the teens. The packages include free packets of lubricant and an informational brochure. So far, the Condom Access Project has mailed out close to 30,000 condoms to California teens.
As reported by CNN, the government program is not without controversy. One of the biggest issues may be the fact that the condoms are likely mailed to teens who still live at home with their parents.
Parents who are unaware that their children are sexually active will have no doubt when they find a package of condoms and lubrication in the mailbox.
San Diego Pastor Chris Clark points out that the parents, not the government, “should be making decisions for the best welfare of your child.”
The California Health Council made the decision to send the free condoms to teens as they have experienced alarmingly high rates of sexually transmitted disease.
While teen pregnancy rates have continued to decline, the occurrence of STDs among 15 to 19-year-olds has continued to increase. The California Department of Public Health reports that among teens, there were 4,800 cases of gonorrhea and 42,000 cases of chlamydia confirmed in 2011 alone.
As reported by the Washington Post, the federal government provides each county with $5,000 per year to cover the cost of the condoms.
The California Health Council feels that the costs are well worth it if they can reduce the rate of sexually transmitted disease among California’s teens.
The free condoms are mailed to teens in California via teensource.org, which includes an order form and educational information about birth control and STDs.