By Emily Drooby
Vending machines, but instead of chips or soda, they sell emergency contraception which is also known as the ‘morning after’ pill. The machines are already in place at schools across the country including Columbia University in New York.
Student, Danielle Smith said, “I have definitely seen them and it was a big hype when they first put them in, it’s really good to have those resources right there on campus.”
Now Barnard College, a liberal arts women’s college also in Manhattan that has a partnership with Columbia University, plans on installing one of the vending machines outside their primary care service center.
Student, Sydney Custer said: “I think it’s really great that Barnard is actually providing options in a way that is non-discriminatory and people can really access this without shame.”
The new trend is very controversial with pro-life groups. Alice Lemos, the Board of Directors Secretary to The Bridge To Life, a charity that helps women in crisis pregnancies, explains this distribution method could cause problems.
Lemos, said: “We don’t know the long-term effects of high dose hormones is and also we are making it more and more difficult for young women to say no, we are saying in essence that a pill solves every problem and it doesn’t.”
Lemos further explaining she believes the vending machines push women further away from just saying no.
Lemos, said: “It’s not bubble gum, we’re talking about high doses of hormones, I think it’s terrible that the campuses are encouraging bad behavior, just saying no actually does work.
The vending machines, already set up at Columbia University, are located in building lobbies. The pills sell for $40 and are in the machines along with items like tampons and pain relievers, like Advil.
In a statement to Currents News Barnard College wrote,
“After assessing student need and evaluating best practices among our peer institutions, we decided to install vending machines to ensure students would have access to a range of over-the-counter medications, including emergency contraception, at hours when pharmacies may be closed and they have need.”
Columbia University has yet to respond to our request for comment.
The vending machines will reportedly be up and running by the spring semester.