Not Providing Birth Control Will Not Prevent Students From Having Sex!

Last month, Katie Freitas, a student at Stonehill College in Massachusetts, became so frustrated by the fact that her college would not distribute birth control, she decided to do something about it herself. Because she was concerned about the dangers of other students having unprotected sex, Freitas attempted to create a Sexual Health and Awareness Group on campus, but was denied by college administration. She then collected hundreds of free condoms from family-planning agencies and distributed them in the dormitories around campus.

However, when the administration heard about this, they quickly confiscated the boxes of condoms.

Now I understand the fact that Stonehill College, which is Catholic-affiliated, refuses to distribute birth control because it is against Catholic teaching. My school is also Catholic, and likewise does not distribute birth control of any kind at the student health center (there are also rumors that the school will take away any condoms or birth-control pills they find in students’ dorm rooms, but I have yet to hear any evidence to either support or deny this). However, having lived on campus, I know firsthand that not distributing birth control doesn’t stop students from having sex: I’ve heard the stories, seen the evidence, and overheard things I shouldn’t have (and didn’t want to!).

The fact is, if college students (or any person…like Bristol Palin?) want to have sex, they will—regardless of whether or not contraception is readily available. But the idea that my peers would have sex without birth control or protection from STDs scares me. Reports have shown that an average of 1 in 4 college students has an STD, and teen pregnancy is on the rise again in the U.S. after a 14-year decline. While I understand the importance of supporting values in religious-affiliated schools, isn’t students’ health and safety more important?

[Photo courtesy of Yale Daily News.]

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