A vending machine at UC Davis will be one of the first of its kind for dispensing Plan B, more commonly known as the morning-after pill. Dubbed "Wellness to Go," the machine was installed in early April and will give students access to condoms, tampons, lubricants, pregnancy tests, and Advil.
Senior and former student senator Parteek Singh spent two years working hard with the university to make this machine available to students. "The more skeptical and negativity I got from people, like 'oh it's not going to happen,' kind of pushed me more," he told CNN affiliate KTXL.
His decision to push for the machine came after several of his friends complained about not having proper access to emergency contraception. Under FDA guidelines, Plan B is already available to everyone over the age of 17 without a prescription, but the small college town only has one 24-hour pharmacy that would often run out of Plan B and not restock for days at a time. (Which is a problem since Plan B needs to be taken within 72 hours after sex.)
Another perk of the machine: Plan B can sometimes cost as much as $65 over the counter, but the "Wellness to Go" machine offers it for just $30.
Unfortunately, considering there have been several misconceptions about the morning-after pill, critics fear that students will begin to rely on Plan B as opposed to using other methods of contraception. "It is promoting like 'Oh hey, go and have unsafe sex because then you have a backup option and it's gonna be cheaper than if you just wanna go to a drugstore,'" UC Davis student Jordan Herrera told KTXL.
A few other schools have reached out to Singh, hoping to give their students better access to Plan B. We hope to see similar machines at other schools soon.