This is the Future: Emergency Contraception Vending Machines on Campus

A Plan B vending machine

That’s it, we’re in the 21st Century: College campuses can install Plan B vending machines, according to a recent ruling by the FDA. 

The regulatory agency weighed in on the issue after Pennsylvania’s Shippensburg University installed an emergency contraception vending machine—a smart move that 85 percent of its students said they supported. It can be hard for college students to get Plan B if their school doesn’t have an on-campus pharmacy, or if its hours are limited. Plan B is most effective within 72 hours of having sex, which is problematic at some schools where health centers close on weekends. Dispensing Plan B via a vending machine can also be an encouragement to people who want the contraceptive pill, but don’t want to talk to anyone about it. 

This is a welcome ruling from the FDA which, you’ll recall, was extremely slow to make Plan B available over-the-counter. But Plan B is still restricted for use to people 17 and older and some opponents of the university’s vending machine plan challenged that putting the drug on sale in the machine for $25 a box could lead to people younger than 17 buying the pills. The FDA decided not to take any action against the school, opening the door (fingers crossed!) for more vending machines on campuses nationwide. 

Photo via ThinkProgress

by Sarah Mirk
View profile »

Sarah Mirk is the former host of Bitch Media’s podcast Popaganda. She’s interested in gender, history, comics, and talking to strangers. You can follow her on Twitter

Get Bitch Media's top 9 reads of the week delivered to your inbox every Saturday morning! Sign up for the Weekly Reader:

6 Comments Have Been Posted

This is amazing! I hope this

This is amazing! I hope this comes to my school too... come on Wesleyan, live up to your crazy liberal reputation.

As for the age restriction questions, I bought Plan B twice for friends who were too young to buy it themselves during high school. People under the age of 17 will (hopefully) continue find ways to get Plan B when they need it. I don't see that as a reasonable argument against installing these vending machines, especially when almost everyone on a college campus is already of age.

This is disgusting!

Are we really having so much unprotected irresponsible sex that we now need an abortion pill in vending machines? This is so nasty and disgusting I can't even believe this is real. How about closing your god damn legs and studying in school.


Sounds like someone has not enjoyed sex in a looooong time

There are many reasons

There are many reasons besides "unprotected, irresponsible sex" that someone might need the Plan B pill. And yes, even people in responsible, committed relationships need it sometimes. Judgement like this doesn't help anyone.

I feel the same

I'm 18, and while I think it's a somewhat reasonable idea, us teens today are having too much unprotected sex. My school is a junior-senior high school, so it's very easy to hear the news down from the junior part. Also, when hearing about a few girls' weekend plans to get hammered, you know where something is bound to lead with one of them.

That is why the Plan B is 1)

That is why the Plan B is
1) Not an abortion Pill
2) At college campus not high school.

Add new comment