College Kids Can Now Get Plan B From A Vending Machine
Plan B is still considered a controversial drug to many and the FDA’s overturned decision to have it available without a prescription still has some rightly fuming. But if you happen to attend Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania, you don’t even have to bother heading to a pharmacy. Because if you stroll on over to the health center, you’ll find Plan B in a vending machine along with condoms, decongestants, and pregnancy tests — and for just $25.
Since anyone can procure Plan B in the United States if they’re 17 or older, the university isn’t technically stepping on anyone’s toes. The emergency contraceptive pill isn’t covered or subsidized by the school, and the school reportedly charges students exactly what they pay the pharmaceutical company.
According to The Star, the Vice-President for Student Affairs Roger Serr explained that the school decided to install the vending machine following a request from the student association. A survey was conducted on campus following its installation, and 85% of the students polled support the presence and accessibility of the vending machine.
While the news will no doubt incite hand-wringing in some parents and religious groups, the accessibility of such emergency contraception I’m sure assuages the minds of many a college boy and girl who have found themselves at the other end of faulty contraception. Having the pills readily available on campus also gives girls a head start on that 72-hour window that is rapidly closing following failed birth control, making the pills all the more effective. Provided that your son or daughter has had comprehensive sex education in which Plan B is instructed for emergencies — and not routine contraception — these vending machines should help parents rest easy. And if not for your child, then perhaps someone else’s.