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Emergency Contraception Available in Vending Machine at Pa. University

Emergency Contraception Available in Vending Machine at Pa. University

February 10, 2012 — Federal regulators are contacting a Pennsylvania university and state officials regarding the availability of Plan B One-Step through a vending machine in the school's student health center, the AP/Boston Globe reports.

Shippensburg University, a public institution with about 8,300 students, offers the emergency contraceptive in the vending machine for $25 alongside condoms, decongestants and pregnancy tests. The idea for distributing Plan B in a vending machine developed after a health center survey found that 85% of students who responded supported making the drug available, according to university spokesperson Peter Gigliotti. The student government endorsed the idea, and the machine has been in place for about two years.

A spokesperson for the university said the school checked records and found that all current students are ages 17 or older, meaning that they meet the federal requirement for purchasing the drug without a prescription. Giglotti said only students and university employees can access the health center, adding, "No one can walk in off the street and go into the health center" (Begos, AP/Boston Globe, 2/8).