I was troubled to learn that just last month, a prominent college right down the street from me tried to shut down a student group on campus that gives out free condoms and sexual health pamphlets. Specifically, administrators at Boston College (a Jesuit Catholic school) sent a letter to the students involved saying that “the distribution of condoms is not congruent with our values and traditions” and that if they are caught distributing condoms, they will be subject to “disciplinary action.” It is also worth mentioning that the sexual health section of the college’s website makes no mention of contraception or condoms and essentially states that abstinence is the best policy. Thus, the overall message the school seems to be sending is that restricting access to condoms and promoting abstinence will discourage students from having sex and promote better sexual health. But will it work and do colleges even have the legal authority to ban condoms among students? From my perspective, the answers are no and no.
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