STANFORD (KPIX 5) — Stanford University is taking progressive steps in handling emergency contraception becoming one of the first college campuses in the country to get a vending machine to dispense it.
The machines were installed in September. They sell male and female condoms for $4, alongside a $25 generic form of the ‘Morning After Pill.’
The idea came from Stanford student Rachel Samuels. She began lobbying administration two years ago. She says nearby pharmacies would sell out of the Morning After Pill, also known as Plan B. The Student Health Center sells contraceptives, but if it was closed, students were out of luck.
“So it’s really really hard for students to get emergency contraception outside of business hours and I see it as a right,” says Samuels. “A lot of other students do as well and our rights shouldn’t be limited to business hours.”
“If people don’t have this stigma or if they’re not nervous about going to a pharmacy and interacting with a person to tell them about their decision, they can just get it from a vending machine,” says graduate student Donna Ni.
Undergraduate student Guillermo Angeris agrees.
“I also think there should be more,” he says. “It should be more accessible.”
Despite support from students it took two years of talks with the university to finally get the machine. Samuels had already graduated and taken off for the East Coast.
“I was both elated and actually pretty surprised that it actually went through,” she says. “You know, perseverance paid off with this particular issue.”
Vengo, the company behind the machines says more than a dozen colleges have reached out to them over the past weeks, including Ivy League schools. University of California at Davis also has vending machines selling contraceptives.