Ditch the sodas and snacks, the University of California Davis has brought sexual health items, including the emergency contraceptive pill, to an campus vending machine.
Side by side with condoms, tampons, pads, pregnancy tests and headache medication – A vending machine in the campus Activities and Recreation building is now stocked with the emergency contraceptive pill.
Also known as the morning after pill or “Plan B,” not to be confused with the abortion pill, can be used to prevent pregnancy for up to five days after unprotected sex. According to the Planned Parenthood website, the pill is a “safe and effective” form of contraception.
It can be purchased by anyone at the on campus vending machine for $30. The pill can be bought over-the-counter at drugstores and health centers between $25 and $65.
Former student government senator Patreek Singh worked with the University over the last two years to make it happen.
The undergraduate senior studying business says he had friends who ran into an issue getting the pill in the small Northern Californian college town.
"We only have on pharmacy that's open 24/7. And they were at the pharmacy Friday night trying to get the plan B or emergency contraceptive, and they were all out, and they weren't going to get it restocked until Monday,” Singh said. “And I thought that was problematic."
There is still stigma associated with purchasing contraceptive items and their shouldn’t be, Singh said. He hopes the vending machine will encourage his peers to practice safe sex habits and in the case of an emergency, have the appropriate resources.
Some skeptics worry that students will resort to using the emergency pill in place of other contraceptive alternatives like condoms or birth control.
Singh said he has been contacted by students at other college campuses and would like to see the pill in vending machines nationwide.