Miami University to install emergency contraception vending machine on campus
CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Miami University is expected to install an emergency contraception vending machine on campus, Assistant Vice President for Student Life Dr. Steve Large confirmed on Tuesday.
The vending machines will give students 24/7 access to emergency contraception, also known as Plan B or the “morning after pill.” This is something multiple college campuses across the nation have available, such as Boston University and George Washington University.
If installed, this will make Miami University the first college in Ohio to have a Plan B vending machine, and one that will offer a more affordable price.
“Emergency contraception can be difficult to purchase,” Large said. “It can be expensive — $40 to $50 at the pharmacy — and individuals might need it at odd hours when stores are closed.”
While the cost is still to be determined, a Miami spokesperson tells FOX19 that other colleges were able to discount the cost from $7 to $15.
“Even though it’s an ‘over-the-counter’ medication, it might not physically be on the shelf,” Large said. “Shoppers may need to ask a store clerk for assistance, which can be intimidating.”
The push for the vending machine came from the school’s Associated Student Government and was “spearheaded” by Secretary of Safety and Wellness Ryan Parker, the school’s spokesperson explained.
According to the Senate’s minutes, purchasing a Plan B vending machine is something the student government was looking into at least since September 2022.
In October, Secretary Parker and Academic Senator Maggie Ryan presented their Plan B initiative which explained their goal of “creating less expensive options for emergency contraceptives” for students in need.
Concerns on whether students may “hoard” Plan B pills were considered during the meeting.
“We are not going to discourage [it],” Parker said. “The machines are going to be restocked either way.”
In addition, both Ryan and Parker said that the machine will be “self-sustaining” and “not profitable.”
While some may support the action made by the student government, Students for Life of America and Students for Life at Miami University started a petition against the vending machine in hopes the school will not install it.
“We do not take a stance on contraception, however, emergency contraception has the potential to end a human life,” Miami University Students for Life said. “According to the manufacturer, ‘Plan B’ may prohibit the implantation of an embryo into the uterine wall. Because human life begins at the moment of fertilization, and because this product can prevent a fertilized egg (human life) from implanting in the uterine wall, this product can effectively work to end an innocent human life in its earliest stages.”
The organization of 150 members says the Associated Student Government met with them to try and gain support for the Plan B vending machine, but Students for Life informed them that it was against their mission.
“We are the Miami University chapter of Students for Life of America and as soon as we were informed last fall that this would be happening at our school, Students for Life of America in conjunction with our chapter put this petition forward,” they said. “However, as this decision was largely confidential and we were not informed of updates, there was little surety of what was going to happen. We are working to spread this petition and update it to the current climate of the campus.”
It is unknown exactly when and where the vending machine will be installed at this time.
To read Student’s for Life at Miami University’s full statement, click the link here.
FOX19 reached out to Secretary Parker for an interview, but he declined.
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