Reproductive rights are under attack, and students are joining the fight. Boston University club Students for Reproductive Freedom (SRF) helped bring a low-cost, emergency contraceptive vending machine to the campus — one of the first of its kind in the country.
The vending machine, which is located in the basement of the George Sherman Union building, has a generic version of Plan B available for $7.25 and takes all major credit cards. The machine first debuted back in March 2022, according to BU Today, the university’s daily news site. Since the vending machine debuted, the group has sold over 1,000 emergency contraceptive pills, according to NBC Boston.
“We just wanted something that was low-cost and easy to access. You don’t need to take a train across town. You don’t need to call a doctor. It’s right there and you can get it as soon as you need it,” Charlotte Beatty, the former co-president of SRF, told NBC Boston.
Plan B and its generic versions are available over the counter at most pharmacies (aka without a prescription) and can be ordered online without age restrictions. The name brand typically costs $40 to $50, with its generic counterparts running $11 to $45, according to Planned Parenthood.
“The overturning of Roe made us even more proud to offer this service to people in our community,” added Molly Baker, the group’s former co-president.
Naturally, the machine has gone viral in the wake of the removal of Roe v. Wade, with many other reproductive justice advocate groups from other schools looking into how to bring an emergency contraceptive vending machine to their campuses. The group is making resources and references available to anyone who reaches out in the hopes that more and more campuses — and eventually other public locations — have these affordable Plan B vending machines.
As demand for emergency contraception has increased, some stores have limited purchases of morning-after pills both in-store and online. Vending machines like the one at BU make navigating the stress that comes with needing to take the morning-after pill much easier. Contraceptives should be accessible and affordable to everyone, period.