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Reader Opinion: Reconsider condoms

I read the April 3 opinion with interest, but have a different perspective on the condom issue. That opinion stated, "Almost every gas station has vending machines in their bathrooms. There may be another discussion if condoms were not so readily...

I read the April 3 opinion with interest, but have a different perspective on the condom issue.

That opinion stated, "Almost every gas station has vending machines in their bathrooms. There may be another discussion if condoms were not so readily available everywhere."

On April 4, I checked the men's bathrooms at four Brainerd/Baxter gas stations. I found one that had a condom machine. I also checked eight additional men's bathrooms in three fast food restaurants, two major retailers, and three grocery store chains. None had condom dispensing machines. I did not ask to check the women's bathroom in any business. Perhaps they have condoms available.

I have a different opinion on what constitutes "readily available everywhere." My take on condom distribution is simple. Use of condoms helps prevent unplanned pregnancies. A certain number of unplanned pregnancies will result in abortions. As a person who would like to see the rate of abortions decrease, it would seem that accessibility to condoms should be part of an informed public policy that wants to see abortions decrease.

My understanding is that condom use also decreases sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, which are on the rise. This is an added public health benefit to condom distribution.

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I hope that the Crow Wing County commissioners will reconsider their decision not to allow Public Health to distribute condoms.

Lowell Johnson

Fort Ripley

Related Topics: CROW WING COUNTY BOARD
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