BOSTON. A group of Northeastern University students petition to build a vending machine that dispenses emergency contraceptives or Plan B pills to students.
The group, dubbed Northeastern University Sexual Health Advocacy, Resources and Education, or NU SHARE, says students cannot currently get Plan B without making an appointment at a medical center or traveling off campus.
“Not offering emergency contraception to students or making it readily available still shows that it is something stigmatized and that sex is stigmatized,” said SHARE member Ren Birnholtz.
A university spokesperson told WBZ that due to supply chain issues, the installation of emergency contraceptive vending machines on campus is being delayed by the fall semester, but that the current vending machine will be used to dispense Plan B in the meantime.
Last week, Massachusetts lawmakers passed a new abortion rights bill that expands access to abortion and allows emergency contraception to be sold at vending machines. Some colleges took this step even before the legislation was passed.
In March, Boston University installed a Plan B vending machine at the school’s student union.
Claire Teiluni, director of communications for Reproductive Equity Now, says the machines are expanding access and lowering costs.
“When vending machines can sell emergency contraceptives at the cost of generic drugs for $7 or $8 versus, say, $50 you could spend on Plan B at CVS or Walgreens, that breaks down a really huge barrier,” Teiluni said. .