Next week is one of our favorite weeks here at TeenSource. WHY?
It’s NATIONAL CONDOM WEEK!
February 14th, Valentine’s Day, kicks off a week-long public discussion about the benefits of condoms. And we definitely love condoms in more ways than one: if someone is sexually active, they can protect themselves and their partners from STDs and pregnancy, they’re widely available, and there’s a ton of variety. What’s not to love?
As a teenager in California, you have rights when it comes to your reproductive and sexual health, including getting condoms.
In preparation for National Condom Week, make sure you KNOW YOUR RIGHTS and spread the word!
1. Teenagers are LEGALLY allowed to buy condoms
Teenagers are legally allowed to purchase condoms without an ID wherever they are sold—not just in California, but in all 50 states. Condoms are sold at drugstores, grocery stores, gas stations, and stores like Target and Walmart. You can even buy condoms online on Amazon.com (if you have a credit card).
If the condoms are behind glass or behind the counter, simply ask a sales person for the ones you want. Don’t be worried. Anyone can buy condoms, and protecting yourself and others is something to be proud of!
2. Sex education classes in most California schools MUST teach about the effectiveness and safety of all birth control methods, including condoms!
Thanks to a law called the California Healthy Youth Act (CHYA), California public and charter schools are required to make comprehensive sex ed classes available for students between grades 7-12, at least once in middle school and once in high school. That includes education on all methods of birth control, including condoms!
What else do we mean when we say “comprehensive”? Here are just some of the things that California public and charter school kids grades 7-12 must receive information about thanks to CHYA:
- Sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sex trafficking
- Adolescent relationship abuse, intimate partner violence and sexual coercion
- Sexual orientation and sexuality
- Gender identity, gender roles and gender stereotypes
- Healthy relationships
- Consent, communication and healthy decision-making
- HIV prevention and other STD prevention including testing and treatment
- Pregnancy prevention, parenting, adoption and abortion
- Local health care services
If you are a public school or charter school student in California it is your RIGHT to receive this information. Are you NOT receiving comprehensive sex ed? Speak up! Get in touch and we can help you make sure your school is providing comprehensive sex education and following the law.
3. Teens have a right to AFFORDABLE condoms
Even though buying condoms is legal, cost can sometimes be an issue for teens trying to access them. Luckily, there are several ways to get affordable or FREE condoms in California!
- Your insurance plan may cover condoms! If you have insurance through Medi-Cal, condoms are a covered method.
- If you don’t have insurance, you can sign up for Family PACT, California's family planning program, that helps teens access many sexual and reproductive health services- like condoms, pregnancy tests, prescription birth control, STD testing and treatment, and counseling.
You can sign up to receive FREE CONDOMS on TeenSource through our Condom Access Project (CAP)! Sign up for CAP and receive free condoms in one of two ways:
- Pick up condoms at a Condom Access Site: You can find a site near you by typing in your zip code here.
- Get condoms delivered by mail: This option is only offered to youth in Alameda, Fresno, Kern, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego and San Joaquin Counties, and parts of San Francisco.
Help raise awareness about teen’s rights to access affordable condoms and comprehensive sex ed! Follow us on Instagram and Twitter and for ideas about what to post, and check out the hashtag #NationalCondomWeek.
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“This blog was reposted from Teensource.org, a project of Essential Access Health. TeenSource.org is an online hub for comprehensive and teen-friendly information on birth control, STDs, relationships and teen’s rights to accessing sensitive services. The site features youth-developed blogs and videos, a clinic finder, a Condom Access Project and links to TeenSource social media where youth can stay updated on relevant sexual and reproductive health information and news.”