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Two Dozen Chicago High Schools To Offer Free Condoms

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Condom packets (Photo credit: GREG WOOD/AFP/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Mayor Rahm Emanuel defended a plan to make free condoms available at 24 high schools starting next school year, expanding an effort to reduce teen pregnancy and prevent the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases among youths.

“I want everybody to understand that doesn’t mean you’re absolved either as a parent or an adult to talk to an adolescent about responsible behavior, respecting who you’re with, and doing what’s right not what’s convenient,” the mayor said.

WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports the Chicago Public Schools already have condoms available at two high schools, and will work with the Chicago Department of Public Health to identify two dozen schools to get condoms in the fall.

Chicago’s teen pregnancy rate is double that in New York City. The expanded condom distribution program will be funded by a five-year, $20 million federal grant.

The mayor said he supports the program, but said it would not replace parental guidance.

“That doesn’t absolve a parent from talking to their child about responsible behavior and respect,” he said.

The mayor said the condom distribution program simply acknowledges reality in an effort to curb teen pregnancy rates and incidents of sexually-transmitted diseases.

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