The echoes of safe sex and planned parenthood are reverberating in many campuses. UC Davis became the first campus in the United States in donning a liberal shade by installing a vending machine to dispense emergency female contraceptives such as the morning-after pill.
The machine has been fondly named the Wellness to Go machine. Reports have said that nationwide, there are four colleges selling contraceptives. But they are selling through pharmacies within their campuses. But a vending machine is a bold step and UC Davis takes the honor as a pioneer in that front.
Thanks to the vending machine, buying an emergency contraception is as easy as buying a can of soda.
The arrival of the Wellness to Go vending machine on the campus of UC Davis was the fruition of two years of hectic lobbying by student representatives, according to former UC Davis student senator Parteek Singh.
“The more skeptical and negativity I got from other people, like, ‘Oh it’s not going to happen,’ kind of pushed me more,” he said.
Finally, the vending machine was installed in early April culminating the lobbying and rejoicing the students.
Cost Effective Female Contraceptive Pills
The vending machine has been housed at the prime location of Activities and Recreation Center on the campus and functions 18 hours a day.
Not only is the college making contraceptives available but it is also making sure that prices are affordable. Plan B from the machine costs $30 while pharmacies are selling it for $40 to $50.
Other wellness “essentials” on offer are condoms, tampons and pads, pregnancy tests and pain relievers including Advil and Tylenol.
Singh recalled that the university was lukewarm to the idea of installing a vending machine for contraceptives in the campus when the request was first put up.
The school authorities suggested selling emergency contraception through the bookstore.
But Singh said students are already embarrassed at buying a contraceptive pill from pharmacies, and telling them to buy from another outlet within the campus will be too much.
Finally, the students convinced the top brass and it was decided that the vending machine will not restrict itself to contraceptives and sell other healthcare and wellness essentials such as condoms, tampons, aspirin and allergy pills.
The student senator noted that resources for safe sex are essential within the campus given that most students are sexually active and face hardships in getting contraceptives like the morning-after pill on time from the town’s pharmacy.
Morning-After Pill As An Emergency Contraceptive
The risk is the morning-after pill has to be taken within five days of intercourse, says the website of the Office of Population Research at Princeton University.
The sooner the consumption, the lesser will be the risk of pregnancy.
The Obama administration has made Plan B prescription-free for women of all ages.
One student hailed the step and said UC Davis has done the right thing in promoting reproductive justice and reproductive rights.
The vending machine is managed by the student pharmacy and UC Davis Stores which also handles the bookstore and other outlets.
The Wellness to Go machine has become a talking point in social media with many students sharing their stories on Facebook.
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