Emergency contraceptive enters one university’s vending machine

Kenzie McCoy

The Plan B pill has made its way into a college vending machine, allowing students to have easier and cheaper access to the emergency contraceptive.

Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania has started the new trend after gaining permission from the Obama administration and the FDA to put the pill, along with condoms, lubricants and pregnancy tests, into a student health center vending machine.

The emergency contraceptive is available to anyone over the age of 17 to buy, according to federal law. Plan B, if taken 72 hours after unprotected sex, can help prevent pregnancy.

“I’m not quite sure about Plan B [being in vending machines],” said Jordan Callison, senior history major. “I feel like the pill should be a last resort in any case, but at least they’re selling condoms there too. I’m still for it because I’m pro-choice and I feel like regardless if it’s right or not, you should have the ability to make that choice to take the pill or not.”

Students at the university must insert their ID cards into the machines to check for age and school registration before purchasing the pill. Only students attending Shippensburg University may purchase the pill at the health center.

“It might be beneficial for students who had something bad happen to them or have made a mistake to not have to drive to a drugstore and awkwardly walk into the store to buy this,” Collision said. “The vending machine is more discreet.”

Having access to the pill inside college health centers provides students with convenient access to the pill. Furthermore, discreet access to purchasing the emergency contraceptive could possibly eliminate embarrassment for some students.

“I don’t think I like this vending machine idea,” said Danea Wells, senior kinesiology major. “I think that it’s too easy access, and if so many people know that the pill is there, they’re not going to take as much care of themselves. I think it’s a little crazy.”

Drugstores such as Walgreens and CVS are currently carrying Plan B for the price of $49.99. Shippensburg University is currently carrying Plan B for a lowered price of $25.

“I think if the pill is this convenient, and for that price, then people are going to use it a lot more,” Wells said.