A new Vermont law, supported by the abortion chain Planned Parenthood, mandates that every middle and high school provide free condoms to students as young as 11.
Fox News reports Republican Gov. Phil Scott signed the law Oct. 5 despite major concerns from parents and pro-lifers about sexual abuse of young children.
“There should be concern when there is evidence that a child is engaged in a sexual relationship — such as when a 12-year old seeks out condoms,” said Sharon Toborg, a policy analyst for the Vermont Right to Life Committee. “Yet instead of strengthening efforts to identify children who are potentially being abused, [the bill] weakens the mandatory reporting laws.”
According to Vermont law, sex with a child under 16 is statutory rape. Prior to age 16, state law recognizes that children are too young and immature to understand and consent to sex.
This conflicts with the new law, which requires public middle and high schools (where children as young as 11 attend) to place free condoms “in locations that are safe and readily accessible to students, including the school nurse’s office.”
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Interestingly, state Rep. Topper McFaun, a Republican who sponsored the legislation, said one of his key goals for the law is to reduce abortions.
“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,” he told Vermont Public Radio. “And the way to do that is to provide ways to allow people to protect themselves.”
However, the Vermont Right to Life Committee, a leading pro-life group in the state, said the bill is “dangerous” and has the “potential to increase abortion rates in Vermont.”
Planned Parenthood of Vermont supports the law, and it has a long, questionable history about reporting suspected sexual abuse of minors to authorities, the pro-life organization said.
“In 2000, 12 girls under the age of 16 obtained abortions from Planned Parenthood in Vermont,” Vermont Right to Life Committee stated. In 2001, former CEO Nancy Mosher testified to a state House committee that her Planned Parenthood branch “had not notified authorities in each case, nor could she identify any instances of reporting of abuse during the year 2000. She also testified that [Planned Parenthood’s] patients were as young as 9 years old.”
The pro-life organization expressed strong concerns about the law preventing parental involvement and making it easier to hide sexual abuse. It noted that the new law denies parents the right to opt their children out of receiving access to condoms in school.
Supporters of the law pointed to studies that suggest better access to contraception reduces abortion and sexually transmitted disease rates. However, there is conflicting data on the matter, and other studies suggest the opposite may be true.