BOSTON – A group of Northeastern University students are petitioning for a vending machine which dispenses emergency contraception or Plan B pills to students.
Called Northeastern University Sexual Health Advocacy, Resources, and Education or NU SHARE, the group says, currently, students cannot currently get Plan B without making an appointment at the health center or heading off campus.
“By not offering emergency contraception to students or making it easily accessible it’s still saying that this is something that is stigmatized, and that sex is stigmatized,” said SHARE member Ren Birnholz.
A university spokesperson told WBZ that supply chain issues are delaying the installation emergency contraception vending machines on campus by the fall semester but that a current vending machine will be used to dispense the Plan B in the interim.
Last week, Massachusetts lawmakers passed a new abortions right bill increasing access to abortion and allowing for emergency contraception to be made available in vending machines. Some colleges took the step before the law was passed.
In March, Boston University installed a Plan B vending machine in the school’s student union.
Claire Teylouni, the Director of Government Affairs for Reproductive Equity Now, says the machines increase access and decrease cost.
“When vending machines are able to sell emergency contraception at cost for the generic medication at 7 or 8 dollars compared to say the $50 you might spend on Plan B at CVS or Walgreens that’s breaking down a really huge barrier,” Teylouni said.