According to an article at Fox News, the city of Philadelphia has begun a new campaign to engage children as young as 11 in the use of condoms.
A new website set up by the city’s Health Department to promote the campaign offers, “If you live in Philadelphia and are between the ages of 11 and 19, you can now have condoms mailed directly to you for FREE. Maybe it’s difficult for you to stop by one of our sites to pick up condoms. Or maybe you’re just shy or feeling weird about picking up condoms.”
The free service does not require parental consent or even parental knowledge.
How is this legal? In a 1998 case regarding condom distribution in Philadelphia’s schools, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit determined that if “the program lacks any degree of coercion or compulsion…neither an opt out provision nor parental notification is required by the Federal Constitution.” Parents United for Better Schools, Inc. v. School District of Philadelphia Board of Education, 148 F.3d 260 (1998). Since children are not compelled to ask for free condoms, the offer by the city doesn’t constitute a violation of parental rights according to the courts.
So your child can’t take an aspirin at school without a parent’s letter and the consent of the school nurse, but he can have a condom shipped right to his door – to your door. It is worrying that anyone would be encouraging 11-year-olds to make independent decisions about sex. To do so on your tax dollars only makes matters worse.