Birth Control Vending Machine Comes To Stanford University

Grace Carr | Reporter

Stanford University now offers a vending machine that sells birth control and emergency contraceptives, the school paper announced Monday.

Funded by the student government association, the vending machines sell male and female condoms, as well as a generic form of Plan B, an emergency contraceptive pill that will prevent pregnancy up to 72 hours after unprotected sex, according to the Stanford Daily. The student government shared the cost of buying and installing the machine with the office for Institutional Equity and Access.

The vending machine condoms cost just under $4 and the emergency abortion pills sell for $25. Near the contraceptive vending machine sits a second machine that sells food, meant to be taken with the Plan-B pills.

Stanford student Rachel Samuels spearheaded the push for a contraceptive vending machine, citing her brother’s success with a similar program at Pomona College as inspiration. Inspired to bring the idea to her campus, Samuels conducted a survey over a weeklong period and received 325 responses, most of which were in favor of the vending machines.

“Our rights should not be limited to business hours,” Samuels told The Stanford Daily. Before the vending machine added even more options for contraception access, Plan B was available only at the student health center on campus. Samuels added that she was grateful Stanford administrators stepped up to the plate.

“We always want to be responsive to the needs of students,” Lauren Schoenthaler, senior associate vice provost for Institutional Equity & Access, wrote in an email to The Stanford 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.”

UC Davis also has a “Wellness-Go” machine that sells abortion pills, and Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania recently joined the list of schools offering Plan B via vending machine, according to the LA Times.

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