Roundup: Massachusetts Town Caves on Condom Policy


Last week, Robin wrote about the Massachusetts school district in the hot seat over a policy to distribute condoms to any student that requested one. The school superintendant, Beth Singer, has apologized to the town for the media attention, and has said that the school will revise its policy so that elementary students will not be able to get condoms from the school nurse.

School officials will revise the written policy, adopted June 8, to make it clearer that elementary-aged students won’t be able to obtain a condom if they request one from the school nurse, Singer said in her letter released via e-mail. She wrote that it is necessary to revise the policy’s wording after it was “so badly understood and misrepresented by the media” in recent weeks, Singer said.

Was it just the media attention that caused her to change the policy? Uh, no:

On Thursday, Gov. Deval Patrick, a Democrat who is running for re-election this year, called Singer to discuss the issue. The two talked about how the policy is written in a way that could possibly be misunderstood, both by outsiders to Provincetown and local residents and parents, according to Singer.

According to the Boston Globe,

The board is now revising the policy so that only students in grades 5 to 12 will have access to condoms through a school nurse on a case-by-case basis, and parents will have the right to exempt their children from the program.

The new policy is as follows:

The Provincetown Public Schools is concerned about student well-being. We believe abstinence is the only sure way to safeguard against sexually transmitted diseases, and pregnancy. Therefore, we do not approve of sexual activity by students.

If students engage in sexual activity against our better judgment, we urge them to use a condom to protect themselves and their partner.

Condom availability:

(1) Parents are encouraged to talk to their children about issues of sexuality and the parents’ values relating to sexual behavior.

(2) Condoms will be available, upon request, to Province-town students.

(3) Appropriate counseling will be provided by trained faculty to each student seeking condoms.

(4) In order to protect student privacy, no records will be maintained relating to requests for condoms.

(5) The district will not honor requests from parents that students not be allowed to receive condoms.

Not-So-Mini-Roundup:Sharron Angle, Tea Party Senate candidate from Nevada, has gone on the record saying that abortion should not be permitted in cases of rape or incest because “God has a plan and a purpose for each one of our lives and that he can intercede in all kinds of situations and we need to have a little faith in many things.”

Pennsylvania is awaiting Governor Ed Rendell’s signature to become the eighth state to ban the shackling of incarcerated laboring and birthing women.

June 29

How will Kagan answer abortion question? – Bloomington Pantagraph

Feinstein grills Kagan on guns, abortion – OCRegister
Group pushes for investigation into telemedical abortion pill administration – UI The Daily Iowan

Kagan: Abortion Laws Must Protect Women’s Health – Huffington Post (blog)

New Jersey Legislature, Governor Christie Fight Over Funds to Abortion Centers – LifeNews.com

Senators urged not to repeal policy on abortions in military hospitals – The Catholic Transcript

Megyn Kelly gets it wrong on Kagan’s abortion rights record – Media Matters for America

What Stupak Hath Wrought – American Spectator

Nevada Tea Party Candidate Angle: No Abortion for Victims of Rape Or Incest – True/Slant

Senators Press Kagan on Military Recruiter Access, Abortion Rights – NewsHour

Blood test predicts age of menopause – Private MD

Christie’s Budget Cuts Spur Abortion Fight – FrumForum

A Man’s Birth Control Pill: Bright Pill – NewsBlaze

Scientists invent first birth control pill for men – National Post

Letter: Contraception against God’s plan – Dubuque Telegraph Herald

LETTER: Pro-life ads’ motives are questionable – Wausau Daily Herald

Developing a Once-a-Month Male Birth Control Pill? – TIME (blog)

RI officials: More doctors used unapproved IUDs – CNBC

Pakistan has highest maternal mortality rate – Frontier Post

Sharron Angle Opposes Abortion Even With Rape, Incest: ‘God Has A Plan’ (AUDIO) – Huffington Post (blog)

G8 revisits maternal and child deaths – Nature.com

In AIDS Battle, A New Focus on The Workplace – Jakarta Globe

Stem Cells for HIV Treatment – KCRG

Boston’s gay bank bought out – Bay Windows

The Funniest Sex Education Posters Of All Time (PICTURES) – Huffington Post (blog) (satire)

KwaZulu-Natal circumcision drive ‘to reduce HIV’ – Daily Dispatch Online

Prevention value of HIV testing of inmates shown – Providence Journal

Rights advocates ask court to allow sex course to push through – Newsbreak

Does a lover really have first claim on breasts? – Telegraph.co.uk

EXCLUSIVE: Bristol Palin Says Telling Mom She Was Pregnant Was ‘Harder Than … – FOXNews

Suit money goes to low-income maternal health care – Chicago Tribune

Reaching a Sisterhood of the Needy – New York Times

How bad are your past sins really? – CNN

House Passes Bill Banning Shackling Inmates During Childbirth – WHTM-TV

June 30

Coalition targets Latina teen pregnancy – San Antonio Express

After 50 years, the pill is still first choice for women – The Reporter

Apology issued over school condom policy – Cape Cod Times

Vets may have gotten HIV from hospital – CNN

Provincetown plays it safe, issues condom policy apology – Boston Herald

What? You Don’t Puree Your Own Baby Food? – Wall Street Journal (blog)

Educating girls in poor nations improves health – Vancouver Sun

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