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Everything You Need to Know About Morning-After Pill Vending Machines & Bringing Them To Your Campus

In today’s world, access to sexual health and wellness products is more important than ever. When it comes to emergency contraceptive drugs (commonly known by the brand name Plan-B), time is of the essence when it comes to proper and effective use, not to mention more affordable costs and availability! Fortunately, more and more colleges are taking steps in the right direction with an ultimate game changing installation— a vending machine that offers the morning-after pill.

Yup, I’ll repeat that: Vending machines that dispense generic forms of Plan B, among other wellness products, do exist! In fact, Shippensburg University became one of the first colleges in the country to offer Plan B back in 2012, the New York Times reports, and since then, institutions such as the University of California, Santa Barbara and the University of California, Davis, have joined the ranks. 

So, here is everything you need to know about these magical machines.

First off, they don’t only dispense the morning-after pill. Stanford University made headlines after installing their own wellness vending machines this month, offering not only generic forms of Plan B, but also pregnancy tests, feminine hygiene products, Advil, Claritin, and other necessary products, according to the Times. Because how many times have you needed these products but couldn’t make it to the store, amiright? 

The morning-after pill is most effective when taken within 24 hours after unprotected sex, so easy access to the pill was a huge reason for the installation of these machines. Drugstores often up-charge the product for anywhere around $40 for generic brands to $50 dollars for the brand Plan B, the Times reports, and students have often struggled to even find them on the shelves at most drugstores. And that’s even if the students made it to the drugstore, as it’s easy to feel embarrassed, worried and apprehensive about purchasing the pill (which can interfere with taking it in time for it to be the most effective).   

Lauren Schoenthaler, senior associate vice provost for Institutional Equity & Access at Stanford told the Standford Daily that she was super excited by the idea of offering these resources to students. 

“We always want to be responsive to the needs of students,” Schoenthaler wrote in a statement to the Daily. “At long last, I am happy to see the student leaders’ efforts realized, and I hope that the machine serves the needs of our student community.”

Parteek Singh, a recent graduate of U.C. Davis, really pushed for these types of machines to be installed on campus. And now? He said that he’s heard from people from over 30 schools who would like to bring these machines to their own campuses. 

“This will be big,” says Singh. “It’s just the beginning.”

It’s certainly a breath of fresh air that more and more students are pushing for accessible sexual health and wellness solutions on their campus. Everyone should be able to access these essential products without feeling embarrassed or at a loss for resources!

Amanda graduated from Carthage College with a Bachelor's degree in both Communications and Public Relations. She also proudly served as the Editor in Chief of her college's Her Campus chapter, and as a Her Campus Editorial Intern. She is from Chicago, Illinois, which she can confirm is indeed a windy city. Today she can still be found furiously tapping away at her laptop keys and producing content for the internet. In her spare time she enjoys reading books (before watching their Netflix or movie adaptions), running for fun (yes, it can be fun) and spending time with her friends and family.