Bush Administration Considers Condom Warning Labels

The Bush Administration may be putting warning labels on condom packages stating that condoms do not protect users from all sexually transmitted diseases. According to the New York Times, current condom packages have labels that say if properly used condoms can reduce the risk of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Lawmakers and health advocates are worried that warning labels could turn away sexually active people from using condoms which would then increase their chances of contracting sexually transmitted diseases such as Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HIV/AIDS, reports the New York Times. After hearing about the possibility of condom warning labels, Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA) criticized the Administration’sasserted insistence that “abstinence-only education is the solution to teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases,” the Times reports. “Evidence indicates that abstinence-only education works rarely, if at all.”

Meanwhile, President’s Bush’s recent budget request asks for a doubling in abstinence education funds. Most of the new funds would go to a new community-based abstinence education program that will be run by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families. While Bush wants to increase budget expenditures in these programs up to $140 million this year, these programs have never been proven effective.

Women’s health advocates have raised concerns that by not stressing condom usage young people will be at greater risk for other sexually transmitted infections. In fact, a Columbia University study, presented at the National STD Prevention Conference on Tuesday, found that teens who make a pledge to remain virgins until marriage were less likely to use condoms, the Charlotte Observer reports.

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Feminist News 2/4/04; New York Times 3/12/04; NBC 3/12/04; Chicago Tribune 3/12/04; Charlotte Observer 3/10/04

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