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Arizona: Condoms an Issue at Rec Centers

March 17, 2003

After quietly permitting condom dispensers at two neighborhood recreation centers and tentatively approving plans for two more, the Tucson Parks Department will hold a public hearing on Planned Parenthood's request to expand the program. Parks officials say condom vending machines were placed in restrooms at El Pueblo and Archer centers nearly three years ago at the request of Planned Parenthood of Southern Arizona, which maintains and stocks them.

A public meeting to discuss putting them at the Quincie Douglas Neighborhood Center is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. March 19. Neighbors rejected a similar request three years ago. The Udall and Randolph neighborhood centers are also slated to get the machines soon.

The machines were installed as part of Planned Parenthood's Protection Connection Program, which also has machines at seven non-city facilities frequented by teenagers. According to Reenie Ochoa, Southwest District administrator for the Parks Department, the four locations that have or will get the machines were approved using administrative procedures. In 1999 and 2000, Ochoa said, Planned Parenthood asked to put the machines in El Pueblo, Archer and El Rio centers. A committee of the centers' regular users approved the machines for El Pueblo and Archer, while the El Rio committee rejected them.

Patti Caldwell, president of PPSA, said the organization asked to put the machines in recreation centers on the recommendation of its teen advisory committee. Machines placed there are "utilized more heavily than anyplace else," she said. Ochoa said the machines have been "no problem whatsoever." City Council members Jose Ibarra and Steve Leal said they did not know about the machines and felt they should have been notified. Ibarra, whose district includes Archer, said the decision to place the machines should have been made by the mayor and City Council, not by administrators. Leal supports placement of the machines but said there should have been more effort to notify the public.

Back to other CDC news for March 17, 2003

Previous Updates

Adapted from:
Arizona Daily Star
03.11.03; Joe Burchell

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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