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The Emergency Contraception Debate – EC Now Available in Vending Machines?

Walk into a room and see what happens when you casually begin a conversation related to college students, sexual activity and emergency contraceptives. Really it won’t matter who is within earshot, you are likely to have tempers flaring and many different opinions being tossed out. So what could make people against emergency contraception even more irritate? Well all it took was one U.S. college deciding to offer the contraceptive pill, commonly know as “EC”,  via vending machine to take the controversy to new heights.

Why Emergency Contraceptives Stir Debate

Both personal and/or religious beliefs are known to cause strong opinions one way or another when it comes to the emergency pill. The problem comes in when we try to define the moment that life starts. For those who are pro-choice, the idea that EC is becoming more readily available is great news and an important step forward when it comes to women’s health care. On the other hand, there are times when a woman may be forced to have sex against her will and when this happens and she has access to EC she has a say in what happens to her body.

No matter your personal position on the matter, Shippensburg University has shown their support for women’s health care and it is getting national attention for their bold move.

Emergency Contraceptives in Pennsylvania School Vending Machine

For students who find themselves panicking after contraceptive failure (or abandonment) , all it will take now is a trip to the health center and $25 cash to receive the emergency contraceptive known as Plan B. Anyone 17 or older can currently go into most pharmacies and purchase it without a prescription. Those who are supporting the new vending machine initiative claim it is really no different than that. In the face of all the controversy, the school did examine the age of students enrolled on campus and found that the youngest is 17 so the idea that underage girls would have access to the medication in the vending machine is false. Furthermore, since the campus health center is closed to the general public, there is no chance any outside youngsters could get in.

The vending machine was brought in as a student association suggestion and it will not only hold  EC  but also condoms and pregnancy tests. For those unfamiliar with Plan B, it is used to help prevent pregnancy within 72 hours of condom or contraceptive failure or uninvited or unprotected sex.

Time will tell if the trend catches on but for emergency contraception advocates, this markets the beginning of greater acceptance.

Some people choose to go with the privacy provided by buying the Plan B alternative, known as ella emergency contraceptive pill, online. Ella cost emergency contraceptive is typically similar to Plan B but the benefit is of course the privacy and ella works for 5 days after unprotected sex which makes the ella emergency contraception effectiveness much higher than that of Plan B since Plan B is only effective for 3 days after.

Are you an advocate? If not, what potential problems do you see associated with emergency contraceptive vending machines?

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