College vending machine dispenses ‘morning-after’ pill

Credit: WCMH

DAVIS, CA (WCMH) — A vending machine has been installed in a study room on the UC Davis campus that offers Plan B, or the morning-after pill.

It’s called the “Wellness To Go” machine, and it was installed in early April. In addition to Plan B, which costs $30, students can purchase pregnancy tests, tampons, Advil and condoms.

The vending machine is a result of two years of hard work by former UC Davis student Parteek Singh. It’s one of roughly four campuses nationwide to have this kind of access to emergency contraception.

“The more skeptical and negativity I got from other people like ‘oh it’s not gonna happen,’ kind of pushed me more,” Singh told KTXL-TV.

Federal law makes the pill available without a prescription to women of all ages. Taking Plan B within 72 hours of rape, condom failure or just forgetting regular contraception can cut the chances of pregnancy by up to 89 percent. It works best if taken within 24 hours. Some religious conservatives consider the emergency contraceptive tantamount to an abortion drug.

The vending machine has received both praise and criticism.

“It is promoting like oh hey, go and have unsafe sex because then you have a backup option and it’s gonna be cheaper,” UC Davis student Jordan Herrera said.

“I think it’s great that the school is giving us this option,” another student said. “I’ve heard some kids say they’d be too embarrassed” to go into town and buy Plan B.

“I feel like every college should have this,” Singh said.

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