A draft of the Seoul Metropolitan Government's policy agenda to be announced early next year includes distributing condoms to teenagers to stem unwanted pregnancies.
According to the draft leaked to the press on Thursday, the city government plans to distribute condoms at schools and community health clinics. A Seoul city official said the measure "reflects the views voiced by city residents during a policy forum."
The city also plans to set up condom vending machines in public buildings.
While the policy has been standard practice in many Western countries for decades, not all Seoul citizens welcomed the idea.
Opponents of a mostly religious bent warned it could promote sexual promiscuity. Lee Gwang-ho, who runs a Catholic educational center, said, "Teens need to learn about responsibility, not birth control. It makes no sense to pass out condoms that can help them dodge responsibility."
One parent of a middle-school student said, "Passing out condoms to teens is like telling them to have sex. The problem can be solved by stepping up sex education rather than passing out condoms to teens using taxpayer's money."