Boston University

Vending Machine at Boston University Dispenses Plan B Emergency Contraception

With reproductive rights called into question after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, students at Boston University have simple access to morning after pills

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As reproductive rights remain in the spotlight, a vending machine that students helped bring to Boston University is going viral. It dispenses emergency contraception, and it is one of the first machines of its kind in the country.

At a time when many are concerned about barriers to accessing contraception, students at Boston University are making getting Plan B as easy as getting a late-night snack. In the bottom of the student union, right next to vending machines filled with energy drinks and candy, there is a machine that dispenses the "morning-after" pill for just $7.25.



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The machine was spearheaded by a group called Students for Reproductive Freedom. They decided to install it after seeing a similar one at Brandeis University. Since it debuted in March, they have sold over 1,000 emergency contraception pills.

"We just wanted something that was low-cost and easy to access. You don't need to take a train across town. You don't need to call a doctor. It's right there and you can get it as soon as you need it," said Charlotte Beatty, the former co-president of the group.

Since the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, demand for emergency contraception has skyrocketed, with some retailers like CVS now limiting how much you can buy.

"The overturning of Roe made us even more proud to offer this service to people in our community," said Molly Baker, the group's former co-president.

Pictures of their self-funding vending machine have recently gone viral.

"It's going viral because people are scared and this is a solution," said Rebecca Hart Holder, the executive director of Reproductive Equity Now.

Reproductive Equity Now recently honored the students at their annual gala. While the pills are legal now, the executive director said with the end of Roe, nothing is off the table.

"We have to be fighting and planning for a nation that would restrict access to birth control, which is a terrifying thing to say," Hart Holder said.

The students at Boston University plan to fight it one vending machine at a time. They are already helping students at other schools who want a Plan B vending machine and have published a resource guide accessible to anyone. They hope to install more machines on their own campus and also stock it with different kinds of pills in the future.

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