Policy & Politics
St. Louis, Mo., Condom Ban Moves Toward Repeal
June 27, 2013
On June 25, Shane Cohn, Ward 25 alderman, sponsored a bill repealing a local ordinance that has banned condom sales in St. Louis since 1934. However, local businesses have sold condoms, because the law has not been enforced. Cohn explained to the city's Health and Human Services Committee that high rates of teen pregnancies and STDs necessitate the repeal of the ordinance.
The ordinance's wording currently states that it is illegal to make "for sale, or give away, within the City, any contraceptive or sex-inciting device or contrivance or any prophylactic rubber goods or prophylactic membranes or to own or be in charge of any vending machine dispensing any such article or to be in charge of any premises where such vending machine is maintained or where any such device is displayed or is dispensed by any means whatsoever." The ordinance exempts licensed doctors and pharmacists.
Ward 13 Alderman Fred Wessels warned that the repeal would not decrease STD rates and described condoms as easily obtainable. Cohn responded that St. Louis needed to "clean up" its ordinances. He noted under the current law, the possibility existed that a grocery store check-out clerk could be fined for selling condoms. Condom sales have been a controversial topic, with religious institutions such as the Catholic Church strongly opposing condoms and supporting birth control prohibition.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
06.25.2013; Nicholas J.C. Pistor
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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