College Campuses offering birth control vending machines

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Pharmacies and student health centers don’t seem to be cutting it for college students seeking emergency contraception. The limited hours of these facilities can prove very problematic (NYTimes.com, 2017). In response, universities — like Stanford University; the University of California, Santa Barbara; and the University of California, Davis — have installed “wellness” machines. These machines sell the generic version of Plan B, pregnancy tests, feminine hygiene products and an array of over-the-counter pharmaceuticals.

Student advocates were instrumental in the push for on-campus wellness machines. Proponents of these machines appreciate the discreet transaction and wholesale prices. “Nobody … needs to know your reasons for needing to access services like that,” according to Sienna George, Boise State student body president.

There has been a great deal of confusion surrounding emergency contraception pills such as Plan B. The morning after pill (Plan B) should not be mistaken for Mifepristone. Mifepristone works by inducing a miscarriage. The morning after pill simply delays the release of an egg from the ovary. This means that if the egg is already implanted in the uterus, Plan B will not be capable of ending the pregnancy.

The FDA removed the age limit on the Plan B pill four years ago but based on a  recent study, many pharmacies have wrongfully required an age certification prior to selling. It should also be noted that some Christian universities are against birth control. There is no doubt that contraception attracts an array of controversy. Only time will tell if more campuses begin offering wellness machines.

 

Sources: Iconculture