Morning-after pill vending machines on UT campus

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According to the US National Library of Medicine, “Of more than 3.2 million unintended pregnancies, almost 68% occur in women aged 18 to 29 (Finer & Zolna, 2011), a common age of college attendees.” Although emergency contraceptives may be available at drug stores, the combination of the price, store hours, and the stigma surrounding the purchase of Plan B often prevents students from buying them. 

To address the situation, many colleges such Stanford University have adopted vending machines in their gender neutral bathrooms which are stocked with cheaper emergency contraceptives and male, as well as female condoms. Not only do students feel more comfortable purchasing them in the privacy of a bathroom, but the products are cheaper and accessible 24/7.

The University of Texas at Austin should join the movement. Adopting emergency contraception vending machines (even if only in a few locations) would enable women to take control over their own bodies in a more comfortable and accessible way. Nearly 1 in 9 American women between 15 and 44 years old have used emergency contraception. Let’s make it easier.