Lifestyle Health Vermont Becomes First State to Require Access to Free Condoms in Public Middle and High Schools The law was created to reduce unintended teen pregnancies and the transmission of STDs By Vanessa Etienne Vanessa Etienne Twitter Vanessa Etienne is an Emerging Content Writer-Reporter for PEOPLE. Prior to joining in April 2021, she served as a reporter for Men's Health Magazine and BET Digital after freelancing for publications such as The New York Times and Everyday Health. Originally from northern Virginia, Vanessa is a proud Haitian American with a love for R&B music and mental health topics. She graduated from North Carolina State University with a bachelor's in Communication and Public Relations before earning her master's degree in Journalism from the City University of New York. People Editorial Guidelines Published on November 10, 2021 12:21 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Getty Vermont has become the first state to require all public middle and high schools to provide students with access to free condoms. Condoms are now required by law to be "readily accessible" to public school students in grades 7 through 12 in a safe location set by school administrators and nursing staff. The bill was first introduced by Rep. Topper McFaun, signed into law by Gov. Phil Scott last year, and recently completed rollout. "In order to prevent or reduce unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, each school district shall make condoms available to all students in its secondary schools, free of charge," the law states. The CDC Actually Had to Remind People Not to Wash and Reuse Condoms An anonymous 2019 Vermont Youth Risk Survey, distributed to middle and high school students, revealed that 40% of high school students have had sexual intercourse and approximately half are using condoms. And only 7.2% of high schools and about 2% of middle schools in the U.S. made condoms available to students, according to 2014 data from the CDC. "Middle and high schools have a responsibility to encourage their students, their young people, to advocate for themselves, to ask questions, to clarify confusion," Amanda Spencer, a counselor at Winooski Middle School, told NBC5. Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. Sharon Toborg, policy analyst for the Vermont Right to Life Committee, has shared her opposition to the bill in the Legislature since its first introduction. "I think perhaps Representative McFaun has good intentions," Toborg told Vermont Public Radio. "But the reality is that when you encourage sexual activity among young kids, and treat it as normal and acceptable for 12-year-olds to be engaging in sexual activity, you are creating an atmosphere that will lead to more sexual activity and more unintended pregnancies." The Coronavirus Pandemic May Cause a Global Condom Shortage The condoms will be provided by Planned Parenthood of Northern New England. Along with accessibility to the condoms, schools will be required to provide students with information about proper use, inclusive of gender identity, sexuality, and ethnicity. Per the program's new guidance, schools will also provide comprehensive sex education as required by state law and regulations of the State Board of Education.