Hats off to local HyVee and Target stores!
An important issue in our society today that not many of us think about much less talk about -- are condoms easily accessible for young people? Research shows that young people do make smart choices about their sexual health but does the retail industry make that choice easy for them?
In the past few years, we've heard from educators and young people all over the state of Iowa about the challenges of purchasing condoms in small town Iowa. Stores often treat condoms like high dollar items or controversial purchases that need to be restricted. Some retailers shelve condoms behind a counter so a customer must request them or others keep condoms inside a locked cabinet. We've heard of teens being asked for identification to prove they are eighteen to purchase them even though there is no law that requires purchasers to be age 18.
Purchasing a condom is small town Iowa is challenging enough already but there are also other factors such as store cashiers who know the teens and who feel they must offer guidance to a young shopper.
And there are many towns in rural parts of the state that don't even have a store locally that carries condoms. Educators, some school districts and family planning clinics do their best to fill this gap by making condoms accessible but they can't always manage it alone or reach all teens. What about areas of the state that aren't so lucky to have these wonderful services available? Imagine what changes in the teen pregnancy rates might occur if teens were able to freely and without shame, purchase or access condoms!
In this edition of the Eyes On feature, we'd like to commend Hy-Vee and Target stores for making condoms easily accessible for purchase. Kudos to these stores for shelving them in areas of the store where teens can easily find, freely obtain from the shelf and purchase. These stores may not know it but they are doing their part to help Teen Pregnancy Prevention in Iowa!
Won't you join us in encouraging stores around the state of Iowa to follow their lead? Give us a shout out with a picture if you find a store doing it right! Tweet @EyesOpenIowa, Facebook or email us a pictures, store name and location. We'd like to commend those that are helping the cause and educate others to join in! We want to hear from teens too! #ShopPrevention #CondomAccess