Towson Considers (But Vetoes) A Plan-B Vending Machine

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Plan B, known more commonly as “the morning-after pill,” is an emergency contraceptive pill that prevents or delays ovulation, thus preventing pregnancy. Though it’s come under fire from some corners, it’s widely available throughout the country. But not, alas, in a vending machine in Towson University.

The idea of a Plan B vending machine first came about when the school’s Health Services department heard about a similar machine at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania, which offeres Plan B for a discounted price. “We already dispense Plan B now at Dowell Health Center and we try to make it simple, but students still must see a nurse to request it,” said Student Health Services director, Jane Halpern. Getting Plan B from Shippensburg’s machine isn’t quite as simple as buying yourself a bag of Doritos; the machine is in a private room, which can be accessed only by students, who must first check in at the lobby. No state-supported or taxpayer-supported dollars are used for the program.

The vending machine makes access to emergency contraception easier and more confidential. An anonymous Towson student told the school’s newspaper that “it’s more embarrassing to go to a CVS and buy it than at the health center.”

While the proposal interested some members of the Health Services community, no plans were made to move forward — perhaps because birth control is suddenly a touchy topic these days. What’s your take — does an emergency contraception vending machine make sense for a college campus?



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