Morning-after pill to be sold in vending machines at N.Y. colleges


Instead of just selling snacks and sodas, vending machines across the country are beginning to offer emergency contraception, in the form of what’s commonly known as the “morning-after pill.”

The machines are already in place at some New York colleges, including Barnard college and Columbia University.

“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 on campus,” Danielle Smith, a student at Columbia University, said. 

Barnard, a liberal arts women’s college in Manhattan, has a partnership with Columbia, and plans on installing one of the vending machines outside of its primary care service center.

The pills sell for $40 per package, and are being sold in machines that also offer tampons and Advil.

“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,” Sydney Custer, a student at Barnard, said.

Alice Lemos, secretary for The Bridge to Life, a pro-life organization that offers counseling to pregnant women, said this distribution method could cause problems. 

“We don’t know the long-term effects of high dose hormones is and we are making it more and more difficult for young women to say ‘no,” Lemos said. “We are saying in essence that a pill solves every problem and it doesn’t. It’s not bubble gum, we’re talking about high doses of hormones.”

In a statement, Barnard said: 

“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.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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