City Gives Condoms to 11 year olds! You’re kidding right?
A website launched last week sponsored by Philadelphia officials, offers free condoms to children and teenagers from ages 11 to 19.
Parents in Philadelphia are outraged. The site argues they want to protect kids from sexually transmitted diseases as well as reducing teen pregnancies. The website, which is provided by the Philadelphia Department of Health, has two locations for the teenagers and children to pick up contraceptives, receive demonstrations on how to use condoms, get tested for STDs, and receive information on antibiotics that can be taken if an STD has already developed. Teens also have the option to have condoms mailed directly to their door, free of charge and without any kind of parental consent.
According to Ronnie Polaneczky a columnist with Philadelphia Daily News, the reason why Philadelphia has decided to focus on this issue is because statistics show that 63.5% of Philadelphia teenagers are engaging in sexual activity, and 15% are having sex before the age of 13 which is significantly higher than the national average of 6% (no references were given with these statistics). Rebutting this position was Sandy Rios, President of Fox News Culture Campaign, she states that by offering such accessible access for contraceptives, the state is actually advocating for children to have sex. Rios was also skeptical of Polaneczky’s sexual activity statistics.
It’s revealing to note that nowhere on the website were teens encouraged to postpone sex.
Here is OFC’s take on the Philadelphia condom program:
• Parents should be the ultimate authority over their children and the decisions they make, no form of government should have the authority to provide any services that encourage sex especially without any type of parental consent. (On the contrary, Philadelphia does have laws that prohibit minors getting their ears pierced without parental consent)
• Abstinence is the only effective way for children to guarantee that they will not become pregnant or receive an STD, no form of birth control can promise to prevent such risky, life-changing effects.
Instead of advocating for children to have sex, as parents, teachers, and government officials we should teach kids that regardless of what the media and culture may be saying, sex should wait until marriage, period. It may seem old fashion but this is the only viable option for preventing unwanted pregnancies, not getting STDs and not making relational mistakes that will leave lasting emotional scars. We’ve never yet heard anyone say, “I regret saving myself for marriage”.