Washington, DC

Women are buying the morning-after pill from a new campus vending machine

Brenna Temple

Vending machinePhoto byVeronica/Pexels

Long gone are the days of ordering emergency contraceptive pills, also called Plan B, from pharmacies exclusively.

Now - within seconds - women can buy the morning-after pill from a vending machine on the George Washington University campus. The machine also dispenses tampons and Advil.

An article states "The machine ensures that the pills are kept at an appropriate temperature...sold with warnings and not dispensed after their expiration date — but all in a location that’s relatively discreet."

This concept isn't new.

In 2012, it was reported that Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania was doing the same thing in its private Etter Health Center. The vending machine began selling Plan B after a survey found that 85% of student respondents backed the idea. To access the vending machine, students were required to check in order to be granted access.

According to the Plan B website, "Unlike regular birth control methods, which are used before or during sex, Plan B® is used to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or following a contraceptive accident."

It "...comes in a one-pill dose (levonorgestrel 1.5 mg). If taken within 72 hours (three days) and preferably within 12 hours of a contraceptive accident or unprotected sex, Plan B® can prevent pregnancy."

The vending machine idea isn't popular in every state. According to a news article, the idea was recently turned down in Illinois.

"A provision that would have required Illinois’ universities and community colleges to sell emergency contraceptives through at least one campus vending machine failed to make it into the final draft of the state’s latest abortion bill."

Little explanation was provided as to why the vending machine was removed from the bill, expect for some policymakers simply "just not liking" the idea.

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Brenna Temple is a writer with more than 15 years of experience.


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