Several universities around the country have come up with a novel solution for college students who have trouble accessing the morning-after pill and other birth control methods. Vending machines that sell the morning-after pill have been introduced at Stanford University after the school’s student government reached a deal with administrators to split the cost of the machine, according to a New York Times report. The machine, which sells a generic version of Plan B for $25, as well as condoms, is meant to provide an anonymous and all-hours alternative to students, who would otherwise have to visit a drugstore or university health center that isn’t open on weekends.
Recent Stanford graduate Rachel Samuels, who led the push to introduce the machine while serving on the university’s student government last year, said that a friend of hers had been forced to search a CVS, then a Walgreens, and finally a Target while in search of Plan B, which is most effective if taken within 24 hours of sex. That process, Samuels said, is stressful and humiliating for students.
“It’s more private because you don’t have to speak to an actual person,” explained Haydn Bryan, 19, a Boise University student who said he had asked the school to supply a Plan B vending machine of its own. “It’s also cheaper than going to a Walgreens or Walmart because the university doesn’t mark up the prices.”
Five years ago, Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania became one of the first colleges to pioneer the Plan B vending machine, and schools such as U.C. Santa Barbara and U.C. Davis have since followed suit. According to some students, many more schools may soon follow in the footsteps of Shippensburg and others. But for now, as The New York Times explains, contraception can still be shockingly hard to find.
Read the full story at The New York Times.